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Local duo deliver wind farm petition to First Minister

Two Strathearn anti-wind farm campaigners have delivered a 4500-name petition aimed at stopping the “reckless siting of wind turbines in Scotland” to First Minister Alex Salmond.

Maureen Beaumont and Strathearn councillor Ann Cowan joined Rhona Weir, widow of writer and countryside campaigner Tom Weir, and Pat Wells, convener of the Stop Highland Windfarms Campaign, to personally hand the petition to Mr Salmond last week at Bute House in Edinburgh.

Mrs Beaumont, the chair of East Strathearn Community Council, said: “I think the fact that he agreed to meet with us is quite telling and we did manage to put our points across to him and make our position clear so it was a useful meeting.

“We also highlighted the fact that the petition was signed by people from all over the world, not just Scots.

“These people are potential visitors to Scotland who don’t want to come here and see wind farms blighting our countryside.”

Mrs Beaumont is head of the Sma’ Glen Protection Group 2 – formed to fight plans for a nine turbine installation on the Abercairny Estate, near Gilmerton.

She said: “Ann and I obviously support the petition and are very concerned about the impact of the industrialisation of our landscapes on our tourist industry – a mainstay of our economy in Perth and Kinross.”

The petition reads: “We the people from all over the world who love Scotland, petition First Minister Alex Salmond and Energy Minister Fergus Ewing to stop the reckless siting of wind turbines in Scotland.”

And Mrs Weir notes: “We in Scotland have inherited an irreplaceable legacy – a unique, varied and very beautiful environment that is free for all to appreciate and enjoy.

“Any unnecessary development which will have a detrimental effect on this heritage should be considered an act of vandalism.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Beaumont and Councillor Cowan plan to continue fighting the second application to build the Mull Hill wind farm on the approach to the Sma’ Glen.

The first application was defeated in 2006 and the second proposal is scheduled to go before the development management committee of Perth and Kinross Council next month.