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Wind farm backer is ex-National Trust boss

"The local community is small and widespread and they do not have the manpower or resources to create effective opposition. "Should these developments go ahead they will have a huge impact on the cultural, landscape, tourist and recreational assets and interests of this area."

A HIGHLAND laird with a stake in controversial plans for an 89 million wind farm on his estate is a former chairman of the National Trust for Scotland.

Top banker Hamish Leslie Melville's Lochluichart Estate, near Garve, is a partner in a proposed 43-turbine development on the 30,000-acre property.

The turbines - which would stand 125 metres high - would form the furthest inland wind farm in Scotland. It would be visible from a number of famous mountains including the Fannichs, Ben Wyvis, Beinn Dearg, ConaMheall, Torridon and Strathfarrar, plus a couple of Corbetts.

The plans have prompted outrage among anti-wind farm campaigners. In particular, they have hit out at Melville's backing of the project in light of his previous role with the National Trust for Scotland - the nation's prestigious heritage protection body.

One protester, who wished to remain anonymous said: "It seems quite hypocritical that a man who once chaired an agency aimed at protecting land can back such a scheme. It will be a scar on the landscape, but a scar which could make a lot of money for the backers."

Mr Leslie Melville, the 61-year-old managing director of international bankers Credit Suisse First Boston, served as NTS chairman... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
A HIGHLAND laird with a stake in controversial plans for an £89 million wind farm on his estate is a former chairman of the National Trust for Scotland.

Top banker Hamish Leslie Melville's Lochluichart Estate, near Garve, is a partner in a proposed 43-turbine development on the 30,000-acre property.

The turbines - which would stand 125 metres high - would form the furthest inland wind farm in Scotland. It would be visible from a number of famous mountains including the Fannichs, Ben Wyvis, Beinn Dearg, ConaMheall, Torridon and Strathfarrar, plus a couple of Corbetts.

The plans have prompted outrage among anti-wind farm campaigners. In particular, they have hit out at Melville's backing of the project in light of his previous role with the National Trust for Scotland - the nation's prestigious heritage protection body.

One protester, who wished to remain anonymous said: "It seems quite hypocritical that a man who once chaired an agency aimed at protecting land can back such a scheme. It will be a scar on the landscape, but a scar which could make a lot of money for the backers."

Mr Leslie Melville, the 61-year-old managing director of international bankers Credit Suisse First Boston, served as NTS chairman between 1995 and 1998.

It is estimated the massive development, which would sit at the gateway to the north-west Highlands, could make its various partners £625 million over 25 years.

The developer, LZN, is a combination of Dutch wind farm giant KDE, Savills property consultants and Lochluichart Estate.

Campaigners claim a wind farm would threaten wildlife - including golden eagles - and the wild Highland landscapes which are a favourite for tourists and walkers who enjoy the area's mountains, hills and scenery.

Garve and District Community Council, which covers just 330 people in the scattered glens, has lodged an official objection and called for a Public Inquiry.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland - headed by near neighbour the Earl of Cromartie from Castle Leod, Strathpeffer - also has lodged an objection with the Scottish Executive.

A spokesman said: "The local community is small and widespread and they do not have the manpower or resources to create effective opposition.

"Should these developments go ahead they will have a huge impact on the cultural, landscape, tourist and recreational assets and interests of this area."

Source: http://news.scotsman.com/sc...

JAN 23 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1031-wind-farm-backer-is-ex-national-trust-boss
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