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Over 100 turn out to hear about Tibbermore windfarm action group

Nearly 150 people turned out to hear plans for a group campaigning against a proposed windfarm at Tibbermore.

It was standing room only in Methven Community Centre on Monday night, as representatives from communities in Strathearn turned out to hear about the Gask And Strathearn Protection Society (GASPS), a group created to fight Ecotricity’s plans.

The renewable energy company recently revealed plans to locate four 120m tall turbines at Newmiln Farm, which they say would power 7000 homes in the UK.

Following an information centre in the hall at the end of May, concerned locals got together and formed GASPS. And their first step was to call Monday night’s meeting, to gauge local feeling and try and recruit people to help their cause.

Brian Simpson, who is currently the head of GASPS, chaired the meeting, stating he wanted to give an “overview of the challenges facing Methven and the surrounding villages”.

Brian, whose home is located just 700m from the proposed site of the turbines, said that the windfarm would have a “heck of an impact on individuals and communities concerned” and warned that this proposal may lead to more in the future, “filling” the Gask Ridge.

He also listed the different impacts the project would have, including a drop in property value, the effect on tourism and the effect on the visual amenity of the area.

He said: “I won’t apologise if I sound like I am scaremongering.”

His main point was that if GASPS was to be successful, volunteers would be needed to help, to raise awareness and to look at various aspects of the planning application, when it is submitted.

Brian then invited guest speak, Jim Lochhead, to share his experience with fighting a proposed windfarm.

A former planning official, Jim said he fought for three and a half years to stop a German company from building a windfarm near his home in Fife. The application was eventually rejected by the local authority.

He warned those assembled: “This is going to be a long hard battle, but to put these turbines there would be disastrous.”

Also in attendance was Bill Thompson of the Standingfauld Environmental Action Group, which successfully fought against an eight turbine installation between Muthill and Auchterarder; and residents of Clathy, who campaigned against a single turbine on Gask Estates.

For more information about the Gask And Strathearn Protection Society, visit the website at www.gasps.info.