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Public condemns plans for Newmiln turbines  

Credit:  By Mark Mackay | The Courier | 27 June 2012 ~~

More than 150 residents of Methven and surrounding villages packed into their community hall to condemn plans for giant wind turbines in the area.

The meeting was organised by the Gask and Strathearn Protection Society (GASPS), which was formed to fight proposals for the development at Newmiln Farm, Tibbermore.

Plans put forward by Gloucestershire energy company Ecotricity would see four turbines built five miles west of Perth.

The turbines, each 400 feet in height, would sit near Methven, Clathy, Balgowan and Clathymore.

Ecotricity have claimed that the wind farm would create enough green energy to power 700 homes and would also generate around £9,000 a year for the area through a community fund.

However opponents believe the development could blight properties and landscapes for miles around and have demanded immediate action to stop the “ill-conceived” plan in its tracks.

Local politician Liz Smith was in attendance and called for the community to make their voice heard with local and national politicians.

The MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife stressed the need for objections to be made on a personal basis, highlighting specific concerns such as noise, visual amenity, health impact of the so-called shadow flicker or impact on tourism businesses.

GASPS chairman Brian Simpson said: “Most of the people of Strathearn have already had their skylines permanently altered with massive turbine developments in every direction.

“This is a new attack on our communities with plans by landowner Hugh Grierson and Gloucestershire-based developer Ecotricity to build industrial turbines on the very doorsteps of our villages of Clathy, Clathymore, Balgowan and Methven.

“Our community believes this ‘lowland creep’is the inevitable consequence of landowners and developers being paid millions of pounds by the government.

“Local farmers reported a feeding frenzy of agents desperate to get a slice of the action and looking to sign up options on the perimeter of Methven and other villages.”

He added: “The meeting acknowledged the need for renewable energy but was adamant that the place for such turbines is in the remote hills where impacts on communities are minimal.

“It is totally inappropriate to build industrial monsters in a farming and residential landscape.

“Rarely have our communities been so insulted and united in opposition to a planning proposition and we are appealing to the Griersons and the Ecotricity company to heed the massive support for GASPS and immediately scrap the whole idea.

“Our planning specialist Jim Lochhead warned us to prepare for a long, hard fight and the mood of the audience left no doubt that the community are up for it and are determined that their voice will be heard.”

GASPS are appealing for help to provide expertise and financial support for the campaign.

Individuals and businesses are being encouraged to speak directly to James England by calling 07980 212355 or 01738 840804 or email mail@gasps.info.

Ecotricity has described the development as a “wind park” and claims the Newmiln location – selected after a “typically thorough site assessment” – is an excellent location for the “windmills”.

The company said Perthshire was “blessed with many natural assets”, with a “high wind resource” among them.

Ecotricity has conducted drop-in sessions to introduce itself and the potential project to residents.

Source:  By Mark Mackay | The Courier | 27 June 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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