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£50,000 weather mast deliberately toppled

Around £50,000 of damage has been caused by vandals who caused a 230-foot mast, put up as part of a proposed wind farm plan, to crash to the ground in the hills above Greenock.

Windfarm company 2020 Renewables are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest after their meteorological mast at Corlic Hill was deliberately destroyed.

A spokesman for the company said: “Evidence from the site shows that several guy wires and shackles were disconnected from their anchors, leading to the collapse of the 70-metre high mast. The health and safety implications of this targeted act of vandalism are of serious concern, as an uncontrolled falling mast could have resulted in loss of life.

“We are co-operating with Greenock detectives who are investigating the crime and studying CCTV footage in the area. If anyone has information about the incident, please contact Detective Constable Stuart Young on 01475 492676. A reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved will be given.”

Detective Constable Young said: “This is a highly unusual crime and it would have taken an element of planning and knowledge to conduct. The individuals who committed put themselves at extreme risk.”

The mast came down around 4am on Friday 3 October. It was on Burnhead Moor, east of Corlic Hill, about three kilometres south-east of Greenock town centre.

Despite objections from Clyde Muirshiel Park, Inverclyde Ramblers and a number of community councils, 2020 Renewables was given permission in November last year to put the mast up for three years in connection with their planning application to construct an eight-turbine wind farm.

The mast had devices on it for collectiing meteorological data to support the proposed wind farm’s operational needs. The compnay say a new mast will be installed.