When an application for a wind farm gives rise to yet another public inquiry the heart sinks (“VisitScotland admits wind farms could harm tourism”, The Herald, October 22).
Regardless of the evidence presented, the final decision will be made by the First Minister and almost inevitably the wind farm will proceed. This will certainly be the fate of the developments proposed for the site near Lockerbie and at Allt Duine in the Highlands. VisitScotland’s warning that the industrialisation of Scotland’s incomparable landscape will have an adverse impact on our tourist industry is long overdue but already too late.
Clearly Alex Salmond is oblivious to this and has made the extraordinary claim that wind farms enhance our appeal as a country. At the Ryder Cup final ceremony he invited the world to come to Gleneagles in two years and see our magnificent scenery, without considering that due to his own efforts this is fast disappearing under wind turbines and pylon lines.
It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the applications for the extension of the wind farm in the Ochils which will be visible from Gleneagles. The truth is that the Scottish Government has yet to offer a policy on renewable energy which would direct developers to more appropriate sites and the result is increasing devastation.
Come to Sheriffmuir and witness this devastation. It is already driving away tourists, including groups who were planning to come to Scotland to mark the 300th anniversary of the great battle in which their ancestors had taken part. Alarmed that the Scottish Government approved a large access road and giant pylon line to destroy this historic site, they have cancelled their tour.
Thanks to Mr Salmond and his eager but blind support for the chosen route for the Beauly to Denny pylon line, the heart of this site is in the process of being mangled; there is no other word for it. Long after we have forgotten what the SNP may have achieved in government we will have the scars of wind farms and pylons to remind us of their most enduring legacy.
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