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Rural backlash over wind power corridor  

Credit:  By Mark Mackay | The Courier | March 29, 2014 ~~

The border between Perth and Kinross and Angus is set to become a battleground as residents go head-to-head with voracious green energy firms.

The region is already home to the giant Drumderg windfarm, but proposals for five additional developments are also taking shape.

Should all six eventually overcome the opposition of local people and the two councils, a staggering 66 turbines could adorn a 12-mile corridor from east to west.

Communities will unite in anger at the prospect of such proliferation at a major public meeting next month.

Many communities in Perth and Kinross are increasingly describing themselves as “under attack” from wind power developers, few of whom take rejection of their plans as final. Their experiences pale in comparison to that of their near neighbours, with the scale and number of wind power proposals for the angus countryside growing all the time.

Organisers of April’s meeting hope it will bring toge ther both communities to shape opposition to what they claim is the scarring of the countryside.

The latest to be brought forward this week is that for Saddlehill, to the north-west of Kilry, where Wind Prospect Developments hopes to erect 14 turbines, each up to 119 metres in height.

There are fears that the towers would be visible from several points within the Cairngorms National Park, further damaging the country’s tourism offering.

Communities link up in fight against windfarms

COMMUNITIES ALONG the Perth and Kinross and Angus border will come together next month to consider the threat posed to their landscape by windfarm development.

The process began in 2007 with the construction of the 16-turbine Drumderg windfarm and the four-turbine Welton of Creuchies farm nearAlyth will soon follow.

They are far from the only proposals for the once unspoilt landscape where the two regions meet. Fear of overdevelopment is now rife.

Plans for seven windfarms at Bamff and Tullymurdoch have been rejected in the strongest terms by Perth and Kinross and Angus councils, but those decisions are being appealed by developers.

This week, Wind Prospect Development delivered details of its 14-turbine plan for Saddlehill near Kilry to the local authorities, with a public exhibition in June.

Another plan is for the Backwater Reservoir, near Kirriemuir, which could become the site of up to 18 turbines, though that development is still in the early stages.

In light of so much attention from green energy firms, communities from both Perth and Kinross and Angus will join at a public meeting in the Glenisla Village Hall on Thursday April 10 at 7pm.

There they will discuss the proliferation of windfarms, attempt to reach a consensus of opinion about development and to decide how the community should respond to the Saddlehill plans.

Their fears are shared by Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser, who has long campaigned against the spread of turbines.

“Communities across Scotland are reacting against the spread of turbines,” he said.

“Such has been the rate of unsuitable and unsustainable development that rural residents across the country are feeling under siege.

“The Scottish Government must stand up and listen to the views of rural communities. Unsuitable developments are not only ruining Scotland’s world famous landscape but are reducing the quality of life and threatening the livelihoods of people in Perthshire and Angus.”

Those seeking to secure sites in the area include Wind Prospect, Scottish Power and Green Cat Renewables, among others.

They have stressed the need for green energy development and the potential for benefits from the turbines, such as the establishment of community funds.

Some, such as Scottish Power Renewables, have expressed concern at their portrayal, stressing that they are “responsible developers” and that their plans have been taken forward after careful planning and extensive consultation.

Source:  By Mark Mackay | The Courier | March 29, 2014

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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