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Wind farm protest group gathers momentum

The possibility of an application for seven wind turbines on Kirkdale Hill near Carsluith has galvanised Galloway residents into forming the ‘Save Wigtown Bay’ protest group.

The group held a public meeting on Tuesday night in the County Buildings in Wigtown and it was standing room only as concerned residents turned out in force to log their objections to renewable energy company Ecotricty’s aim to create the ‘California Wind Park’ by erecting the 126 metre high turbines.

Six of the group, including chairman Martin Green, spoke of their wide ranging concerns, included potential loss of tourism income, loss of rare historic sites and the visual impact that seven 413 foot high turbines (over four times the height of the County Buildings at 88 feet high) could have. One protester compared the arrival of such turbines to ‘The Day of the Triffids’ calling the proposed development on the hill directly across the bay from Scotland’s National Booktown “a blatant act of vandalism”.

The group have set up an online petition calling on Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Scottish Government to “protect our beautiful bay, nature reserves, Regional Scenic Areas and historic environment by rejecting plans for industrial turbine developments” and have set up a Facebook page to share information.

Ecotricity declined a face-to-face meeting with the protestors group on three dates offered, but were due to meet last night with various community organisations the energy company had invited to met with them to discuss forming a ‘Community Liaison Group’.

An Ecotricity spokesperson said: “Ecotricity will be holding two public exhibitions about their California Wind Park proposal in January (one in Carsluith on January 14 and one in Wigtown and January 15), as specified in the Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) to Dumfries and Galloway Council and the five parish councils in the region. This will give all members of the public an opportunity to come along and talk to us about the proposal, see the photomontages of the wind park and provide feedback prior to the submission of any application.

“Ecotricity is also establishing a Community Liaison Group, to create a long-term forum for members of the community that allows meaningful dialogue throughout the planning process, both before and after the submission of any planning application. The main function of the group will be to raise and discuss locally important issues and provide a link between Ecotricity and the local community.“

Ecotricity are expected to submit a planning application with Dumfries and Galloway Council for the proposed California Wind Park at the end of January.