Protest signs torn down
Credit: The Galloway Gazette | 15 December 2012 | www.gallowaygazette.co.uk ~~
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An anti-wind farm protester who used her own land to display signs protesting against turbines near her home had a rude surprise this week.
Liz Glarke had placed the signs and posters on the boundary fence between her land near Barrachan and that of a family member who sold his to EDF Energy Renewables to allow for the Airriequhillart wind turbines plan.
Now Liz says she won’t let the bullyboy behaviour grind her down and is in the process of making new signs to replace the removed ones.
She said: “I know who did this and why, and I’m furious. But it won’t stop me. I’ll just fight back with even bigger signs. These were on my boundary fence and they’ve been torn down and thrown onto my land.”
Liz and her family member split the land following the death of a relation, and she’s now furious that fields so close to her could become an industrial site.
The attack on Liz, who is a member of a working protest group set up to fight the 18-turbine wind farm plans, comes in the same week as support was offered to the group by a member of the European Parliament against the proximity of the proposed turbines to homes.
MEP Struan Stevenson has criticised his own government in official correspondence for flouting its guidelines when allowing wind turbines to crop up far too close to residential properties, citing the proposed Machars development as an example.
The group contacted the MEP upon discovering that the plans don’t conform to the Scottish government guidelines, which claim no turbine should be within a two-kilometre distance of a dwellinghouse.
At least four of the proposed turbines that will make up the 54MW development are to be located within two kilometres of Barrachan village, with a further 10 within two kilometres
of Barrachan Home Farm. Council reports also recognise sites of significant historical importance in the area .
The MEP immediately contacted the Scottish government’s Energy Consents Unit to ask why its own guidelines are allowed to be ignored.
Mr Stevenson said in his letter: “I am increasingly concerned by the lack of adherence to the recommended separation distance between industrial wind turbines and residential homes. I understand that, in Scotland, this is a guideline rather than a legally binding requirement but as an elected representative for the country, I have had an overwhelmingly amount of correspondence from homeowners across Scotland who inform me that large-scale wind energy developments are encroaching on their properties. The systemic abuse of the two-kilometre separation distance is now omnipresent in Scotland.
“I would urge you to look at the proposed Airriequhillart wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway as a prime, and current, example.”
Initial consultations into the plans have shown significant negativities from council officials.
Documentation submitted by council planners as part of the current scoping exercise show that such a development would be detrimental to sensitive parts of the landscape. Also, a roads report claims that there is no suitable road to service the site without substantial upgrading along most parts of each route.
The Airriequhillart wind farm is in its initial stages, with wind measuring masts in situ – clearly visible from various parts of the Machars.
Visit www.airriequhillartwind farmprotest.com for more information on the plans.
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