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Anti-wind farm party runs out of energy

A political group that was set up to stop wind farms has failed to win the support of fellow protestors and has folded at the end of its first year.

The Alliance Party of Scotland promised to field candidates for the 2016 Scottish parliamentary elections and hound politicians who backed “reckless wind power policies”.

But the organisation’s former leader Richard Crawford said protest groups were putting all their energies into fighting developments in their own backyards, losing sight of the bigger picture.

“I really thought that if we could get the support of all the people – that instead of them being inward-looking they would be wanting to get some action done for the benefit of all – then we could really do something. But we just couldn’t get commitment from all the various wind farm groups throughout Scotland,” he said.

Pat Wells, convener of Strathdearn Against Windfarm Developments, said hundreds of campaigners all across the country were working 18-20-hour days to stop wind farms from being developed in their own communities.

She said there was only so much they could do.

The Alliance Party of Scotland was launched in the Highlands in April last year.

It wanted to see a moratorium on “hugely expensive and inefficient” wind farm developments, fairer energy prices and an end to fuel poverty.

However, Mr Crawford was already making exit tones in July, less than four months in.

He said the Scottish Government’s signalling of a tougher stance against wind farms could spell an end for his party.

He believed his short-lived group had made politicians sit up and take notice, although it had been a disheartening decision to close it down.

“In theory we were supposed to be having a lot of support from the wind farm groups but we really couldn’t get the steamroller going,” he said.

Mrs Wells, of Altchosach, Tomatin, who previously championed the Alliance Party as “an effective voice”, said campaigners were consumed with so many wind farm developments springing up in their communities.

“My focus just has to be on saving Strathdearn and the hills from being completely trashed,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful glen.”