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Sandend campaigners prepare to battle wind farm development

A tiny north-east community is preparing its own dossier of evidence as it fights against a proposed wind farm development.

Residents in Sandend have been battling to prevent offshore infrastructure for a massive green energy scheme cutting through their beach.

It is regarded as a “jewel in the crown” for surfing and activists are trying to make sure it stays that way.

Their main concern centres on giant cables from the Moray West Offshore Windfarm tearing through the sands.

Campaign group Save Our Sandend have issued a statement after local MP David Duguid met with the developers Moray West.

The group is compiling information so they can use it to make their case to planners.

They claim the wind farm company will use the beach at Sandend because it will “cheaper and easier” than other areas along the Moray Firth Coast.

The statement said: “They suggest that Sandend bay is included in the potential corridor because the surrounding area has some protection under Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

“We believe that the attraction of Sandend to them is simply the fact that it is a shallow sandy beach, which would make the landfall cheaper and easier.

“Our group is amassing a dossier of information that we believe will be relevant for consideration by the planning authorities once the application is submitted.

“Hopefully that will aid them in making an informed decision and arrive at a solution that will allow the landfall to take place in a location with the least risk and disruption.”

Last night, a spokesman for Moray West said they were continuing to consult on the development and will lodge their proposals with the council in the summer.

He said: “Moray West is a project which will deliver a significant amount of low cost, low carbon power.

“We continue to use the pre application consultation process to engage with a wide range of stakeholders including the community and its elected representatives to inform our development proposals and we expect to make a formal planning application later this summer”.

The Moray West Offshore Windfarm aims to deploy 90 turbines off the coast of the Moray Firth which could provide power for 900,000 homes.