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Follow Dumfries and Galloway’s lead on wind turbines

Malcolm Roughhead quite correctly points out that it is for individual local authorities to review the available evidence and determine what is right for their area (Letters, October 25).

In the recent case of the 10 wind turbines proposed for Minnygap above Moffat next to the Southern Upland Way and near Lockerbie that is exactly what the local councillors did. They decided that the cumulative impact of these turbines, their impact on walkers on the Southern Upland Way and on the Raehills Designated Landscape would be seriously detrimental to the landscape of the area and to the local tourist industry,

The second and third paragraphs of his letter are a re-iteration of a formula that all government-funded bodies appear to feel obliged to spout every time wind power is mentioned. VisitScotland is a body whose business it is to promote tourism, not to determine energy policy; why does it feel it necessary to even comment on the energy policy involved?

Mr Roughhead says that “it is well documented that the vast majority of potential visitors would not be discouraged from visiting Scotland on account of wind farm developments”. Presumably the documentation he refers to is the Scottish Government’s 2008 survey. The survey does make this finding, but to do so it relies on the assumption that tourists in the regions of Scotland that are affected by wind turbines will travel to less-affected areas of Scotland. In other words they will go elsewhere. This same study also makes it plain that the vast majority of tourists in Dumfries and Galloway (98%) will be impacted by wind turbines and it states that “the impacts in some areas are important enough to warrant specific consideration by the planning authorities”. Well done Dumfries and Galloway councillors for doing just that.

Sarah Burchell,

Upper Minnygap Farm,

St Anns,

Lockerbie.