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Sandend group ‘committed’ to saving local beach

A group set up to prevent an offshore windfarm building part of its development at a north-east beach has insisted it is “committed” to fighting the scheme.

Moray West Offshore aims to deploy 90 giant turbines off the coast of the Moray Firth which could provide power for 900,00 homes.

But one of the possible routes for the cables to connect the project to the Blackhillock substation, near Keith, draws a line through the village of Sandend.

Now a group of campaigners is attempting to convince the energy firm to rethink its plans by touting the beauty of the sands and claiming the development would destroy the local surfing scene.

A public exhibition giving locals the chance to voice their opinions on the proposal was set to take place last week.

But the Beast from the East snowstorms forced it to be delayed.

Despite this, the Save Our Sandend group said it would not be giving up on its fight.

“SOS remains committed in our opposition to the landfall site of this development,” a spokesman said.

The group had previously offered to take representatives from the firm on a tour of the beach to explain why it was important to its members.

So far, no such site visit has taken place.

At a public meeting last month, Moray Offshore’s managing director, Dan Finch, said the firm was “surprised” by the feedback it has received since unveiling its plans.

Ray Murray, the chairman of Sandend’s community council, said it was a question of persuading the company that there were better options available.

“I’m not promising you a cheaper place to land, but I’m promising you a better place to land for you and all of us,” he added.

In addition to the group’s efforts, more than 5,000 people have signed a petition to block the development.