March 5, 2012

Cameron Community Council chairman urges others to put windfarms under the microscope

By Michael Alexander, 5 March 2012

The chairman of the organisation behind a high-profile windfarm debate in Fife last week has urged others to follow its lead.

Cameron Community Council chairman Gordon Ball, who organised Thursday’s meeting, has urged every community in Scotland to hold discussions on windfarms.

He fears that Scotland’s landscape and its multi-million-pound tourism industry could be affected by mass windfarm development.

More than 300 people from all over Scotland attended the debate, with 100 left standing outside.

Mr Ball said: ”As a community council we are apolitical, but the reason we felt this meeting had to happen was because we rarely get the chance to hear an informed discussion.

”The government has green energy targets and well organised pro-windfarm campaigns. What we rarely hear in open discussion is the other side of the equation – the impact on birds and bats, the potential flickering effect of turbines, the costs that turbines add to people’s energy bills through government tariff schemes and the dramatic impact on the landscape if all these applications go ahead.

”Someone compared the tariff system to robbing the poor to pay the rich. I also learned about the potential devastating effect on marine life if offshore farms go ahead. When they bore down and backfill with rocks and concrete, it can have a devastating effect on marine life.”

He added: ”What we didn’t want and what we never planned was to have pro- and anti-windfarm campaigners on stage battling it out.”

Mr Ball said the community council plans to hold another public meeting for a vote on the prospect of windfarm applications.

He said: ”I’m not saying I’m for or against windfarms, but what is absolutely essential is that we have proper debate. We are not standing in the way of progress, but the government and developers have to realise that they can’t just stick them up anywhere.”

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