Critics of the largest windfarm yet proposed for Angus have undertaken a protest walk across the landscape in which it could be set.
The proposed Nathro Hill Wind Farm, on the Careston Estate at Glen Lethnot, would be about 10 kilometres northwest of theA90, composed of 17 turbines with a maximum total capacity of around 60 megaWatts.
Residents and detractors of the Eurowind proposal set out on their walk yesterday and one of the group told The Courier how she felt about the plans.
Fiona Dow said: “As a local resident my personal environment – and the reason that I moved here many years ago – is under threat.
“The beauty and tranquillity of the Angus glens is what drew me here. My family and friends visit regularly and we always go walking in these glens.
“It is what I show off to my visitors and they look forward to that experience.
“We can climb up to the White Caterthun and contemplate what happened there over time, and what the Picts felt as they surveyed those hills, now earmarked to house 17 giant metal structures.
“If the Nathro Hill windfarm goes ahead, I will certainly stop walking there.
“The seclusion and peace will have been ruptured, forever making it a different place,” she said.
Each turbine would be a total height of up to 135 metres, with a rotor size of 107 metres and an individual blade length of 52 metres.
Eurowind’s director argued that the hills represent an ideal place to house a large development in Angus, which has yet to see an operational windfarm.
Ian Lindsay said: “We respect that there is some opposition to our windfarm proposal, but a survey showed majority support from respondents around the Lethnot area closest to the project site.
“There are currently no windfarms operating in Angus, which is highly unusual compared to other areas with very similar landscapes across Scotland.
“We believe that there is appropriate capacity in the hills around Glen Lethnot for development that can deliver the bulk of Angus’ contribution to renewable energy targets from a single site, located away from communities and protected landscape areas.”
Ms Dow said the impact on tourism in Angus would be of a magnitude greater than that on people who live nearby, which must also be a factor.
“We cannot be expected to just get used to the change – as the windfarm companies would have us believe people do – that change will alter the whole area and further afield in Angus,” she added.
“If tourists or visitors have a choice between coming here to witness a windfarm whilst in the wilds of rural Scotland, or going to an unspoilt area to unwind and absorb the peace that place offers, then like me, they will seek out another place to spend recreational time.
“This will impinge on all the small rural businesses here who rely on day trippers or tourists to spend money for sustenance or lodgings.
“The profits of windfarm companies and landowners at present outperform the inherent value of Scotland’s iconic landscape – this must stop before we have no natural heritage to claim as our own.”
Eurowind previously revealed hopes of a tie-up with Angus College, which it said could help local people find jobs.
The turbines represent such a large development that the application will have to be determined by the Scottish Government.
The developer opened talks with Angus College, Angus Council’s economic development unit and other energy interests regarding the development of an “energy hub” at the college.
Public representations on the development must be submitted by August 22, and Angus Council is working on its formal response to the plan in advance of a November 13 deadline.
It is likely the bid will go to a public inquiry, should the local authority make a formal objection.
[Also published online as: “Nathro Hill windfarm objectors walk to mark ‘beauty and tranquillity’ of land in question”]
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