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Marine chief’s wife to lead battle against windfarm  

Credit:  By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 14 April 2015 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

The wife of a Royal Marines chief is fronting a battle against plans to build a windfarm between Glen Prosen and Glen Isla.

Sue Smith – spokeswoman for Friends of Backwater and Glenisla Against Turbines – said a public meeting will take place in Kirriemuir to “raise awareness of the proposed windfarm in the wider community”.

Developer Eneco UK submitted an application for 18 turbines between Glen Prosen and Glen Isla, each 125 metres in height, to the Scottish Government in January.

The proposed 59MW Macritch Hill development is intended for Scottish Water land at Backwater Reservoir and could generate “up to a third” of the firm’s annual energy requirement.

More than 750 objections have been submitted to the Scottish Government with 160 objections lodged with Angus Council, which will debate the planning application on May 15.

Mrs Smith is wife of Major General Martin Smith, head of the Royal Marines and Commander of the UK Amphibious Forces.

She said: “We believe that claims by the applicants that this application meets the terms of the Angus Local Plan are flawed.

“We also believe that residents have the right to be fully informed of the potential water pollution risk from the development.

“It must be stressed that the majority of residents are supportive of renewable energy, but they are opposed to windfarms being located in unsuitable areas. This is absolutely not a suitable location.

“We hope that Angus Council will support residents and ensure their concerns are represented fairly at any future public inquiry.”

The meeting will be held at Kirriemuir Town Hall on Thursday April 23 at 7pm.

Apart from residents, there is opposition to the planning application from major national charities, which believe the landscape would be destroyed.

The Kirriemuir and Landward West Community Council has also objected.

Opponents of the planning application say it is contrary to the Angus Local Plan and would drastically affect the local beauty spot. They say it also contradicts the recent Angus Landscape Capacity Study, which was jointly funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and adopted by Angus Council, which said the area was totally unsuitable for large turbines.

Campaigners argue that suggestions from the applicants that there would be no significant damage to the landscape “beggars belief”.

They are also concerned that the proposed industrial development will pose a real threat to the quality of drinking water from the reservoir, which supplies more than a quarter of a million homes throughout Angus.

These concerns follow numerous serious water pollution incidents at Whitelee near Glasgow, the largest windfarm in Scotland.

Eminent clinical radiologist Dr Rachel Connor, a campaigner at Whitelee, has been invited to be keynote speaker at the Kirriemuir public meeting.

She will be supported by Graham Lang of Scotland Against Spin, the national body helping groups fight planning applications for windfarms in unsuitable locations.

Known as Macritch Hill after the 475-metre elevation to the east of Backwater Reservoir, the project will stand on 1,200 hectares of shore-side land at the 397-metre Little Ley.

Eneco was awarded the rights to explore the development in 2012, and has since undertaken an environmental impact assessment and technical surveys to determine the scale and design of the proposed windfarm.

Eneco states that a series of consultations have also been carried out in the community.

Source:  By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 14 April 2015 | www.thecourier.co.uk

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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