Wind energy firms were yesterday accused of trying to hoodwink locals by deliberately choosing obscure names for Highland windfarms.
German firm ABO Wind UK has made up a Gaelic name – Allt Carach – for its 25-turbine project near Beauly. Protesters claim the name, which means “meandering burn” in Gaelic, is a ploy to try to fool locals and possible objectors over its true location. But campaigners say the attempt has backfired as carach can also translate as “sly” or “deceitful”.
ABO Wind UK last night denied deception claims, insisting the name was c hosen as a neutral moniker for a development that crosses three estates.
Meanwhile, two local businesses vowed to oppose the green energy scheme, at Kilmorack, fearing it would be a “disaster” for the economy.
Windfarm protester Lyndsey Ward said: “‘Allt Carach’ is not on any map and ABO admitted it was made up. It is unreasonable for ABO Wind to deliberately choose a name that is not instantly recognisable by the local population. This seems to be a favourite ploy by wind developers to perhaps reduce objections, as residents will have no idea if they will be impacted by a windfarm or not because the name is obscure.”
She said it was not the first time a firm had used the ploy, as the same situation had arisen with the Druim Ba windfarm on the Blairmore Estate and the proposal for Clach Liath in the foothills of Ben Wyvis, both of which were rejected by Highland Council.
The Clach Liath windfarm was named after the local estate while Druim Ba after the local forest – but objectors claim these names are obscure, and not widely recognised in the communities.
The protester added: “ABO Wind has called this windfarm a name that means ‘deceive’, when in reality by doing so it is deliberately deceiving the local population by making the name obscure so as not to alert those who will be affected.”
Meanwhile, Mike Spencer-Nairn and his wife Pawana fear their business will also be hit. They recently used a World War II Hurricane fighter to open luxury self catering log cabin village Eagle Brae and fear the turbines will cripple the £4million tourism venture.
Warwick Lister-Kaye, manager of the famous Aigas Field Centre – which takes hundreds of students and wildlife experts every year – also pledged to fight the development, which would span the Farley, Erchless and Breakachy estates.
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