A campaigner hoping to block plans for a wind farm near Kilry has spoken of experiencing an emotional rollercoaster.
Two public consultation events were held by developers Wind Prospect Ltd in relation to the proposed 14-turbine Saddle Hill project.
The energy firm has said the meetings, held over Tuesday and Wednesday last week at Kilry and Glenisla village halls, respectively, were attended by a combined total of about 100 people.
Jo Campbell-Mackenzie, who lives near the site which straddles the border between the Angus and Perth and Kinross council catchment areas, was present at both events.
She stood outside the two venues collecting signatures for a petition calling for the neighbouring local authorities to reject the imminent wind farm application, particularly on the grounds of its perceived detrimental impact on the picturesque landscape.
In addition to the turbines, concerns were also raised about the effect temporary access roads required for construction – and permanent tracks linking the towers used by maintenance vehicles – would have.
Jo said only a handful she approached opted not to sign the protest document, estimating her success rate was in the region of 97%.
She praised the Wind Prospect representatives present on both nights for their courteous nature, especially in the face of occasionally firm opposition.
When asked to sum up the feeling in the community, Jo admitted: “What struck me was really the fact that everyone is so upset by the prospect of this, really anxious and seriously distressed.
“I’m sure the people from Wind Prospects are lovely, they were very polite – one or two people gave them a hard time – but it’s not about them, it’s about the development.”
Locals’ feelings are said to have been made worse as there are several wind farm developments within what residents have repeatedly described as an unacceptably tight proximity.
One such development includes the 18-turbine Macritch Hill Wind Farm by Eneco Wind UK, earmarked for land owned by Scottish Water at Blackwater Reservoir and currently in the preliminary stages. A public meeting is to be held on November 14 from noon-7.30pm in Kilry Hall to allow locals to have their say. Several other meetings are also planned.
Jo continued: “When you see the map where all these turbines could end up, and the roads that would have to be built, it’s a complete nightmare.”
Wind Prospect Ltd’s development manager, Rory Carmichael, said: “We welcomed almost 100 people during our two public exhibitions for the Saddle Hill wind farm proposal, thank you to all who took the time to meet with us.
“We introduced the project in September last year with a community event. Since then we’ve attended community council meetings and established a liaison group to listen to feedback from people who live in the area.
“During these conversations, we were asked to share the final proposal as soon as it was available and ahead of planning submission.
“Visibility from the glens was a key consideration in the design of the wind farm. We initially introduced a proposal for 22 turbines and feedback since from the local community, consultees and consultants has shaped the current proposal for 14 turbines.
“It is expected that the planning application will be submitted within the next few weeks. However, should this change, we will update the local community.”
Information on Saddle Hill is expected to be posted on both the Angus and Perth and Kinross coucil websites once the application is lodged.
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