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Wind farm protest at SNP conference

Timed to coincide with Alex Salmond’s address to the party faithful, anti-wind farm protesters from Perthshire joined hundreds of fellow activists from across Tayside and Fife to march on the SNP conference on Saturday.

There was a strong Big County presence, with the protest hosted by the Gask and Strathearn Protection Society, currently fighting Stroud firm Ecotricity’s plans for 4×125 metre turbines on Newmiln Farm near Tibbermore.

Activists were voicing their opposition to the Scottish Government’s policy on wind farms.

Billed as a family event, almost 400 people met first on the South Inch before marching to the Concert Hall where they listened to a series of speeches, waved placards and shouted slogans.

In a dramatic demonstration of the height of the turbines they oppose, a bright red blimp was flown at 125 metres above the North Inch.

Protesters later attended a private meeting with Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism in the Royal George Hotel.

They told him they want an immediate moratorium on further development until a review of policy has been carried out by an independent panel of engineers and economists.

Organisors later hailed Saturday’s protest as an “outstanding success” and described it as “a springboard for more militant popular action”.

Spokeswoman Linda Holt told the PA: “Today proves wind farms are now a political problem which the Government ignores at its peril. Every new wind farm costs the First Minister, the SNP Government and ultimately, the independence campaign support.”