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MP to hand over windfarm petition

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown will this week meet the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP, to hand over his windfarm petition.

More than 2000 people signed the petition over the six weeks it was running.

Mr Brown started his petition because of increasing concern that the Scottish government is forcing more and more wind farms onto Dumfries and Galloway, against the views of local people.

Mr Brown will meet Fergus Ewing at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday at 2.30pm.

In recent months the Scottish government has ignored local people by approving two windfarm developments that had been rejected by Dumfries and Galloway Council. One was at Carscreugh Fell near Glenluce in March and the other at Glenchamber at the end of July. This means they will go ahead despite local concern about their effect on the landscape and historic sites.

And the Scottish government ordered Dumfries and Galloway Council to make it even easier for new wind turbines to be built in the region by demanding the council finds areas where companies can apply to erect new wind farms.

And Mr Brown said First Minister Alex Salmond made light of the concerns of local people when holding an open meeting in Stranraer, causing him to be heckled and jeered by the audience.

Mr Brown added: “With over 2000 signatures, the response to my windfarm petition has been phenomenal. It has really struck a chord with local people who are fed up with the Scottish government ignoring local opinion. This year alone the local council has rejected two windfarm applications, only for the government to wade in and force them on us anyway. This is a disgraceful way for the SNP in Edinburgh to treat local people in our region.

“I am pleased the Energy Minister has agreed to meet me to receive the petition. I will make the scale of local people’s anger clear to him. Local people are really worried that our beautiful landscape is being spoiled by too many wind turbines. Wind has an important part to play in a balanced energy policy, but even many supporters of wind energy are up in arms about the fact the government is forcing Dumfries and Galloway to take an unfair share of turbines.

“So many people have joined this campaign that the government will have to take our views seriously. I am looking forward to my discussion with the minister and I will also invite him again to visit our area to see the problem first hand.”