Library filed under Impact on Landscape from UK
Alex Salmond has been urged to "show real leadership" by rejecting a large wind farm that campaigners say threatens to submerge an area of wild land under a "forest of steel turbines the height of the Forth Bridge".
Helen McDade, head of policy at the John Muir Trust, said: "We are disappointed that the majority of councillors chose to ignore expert opinion from bodies which include Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Cairngorms National Park, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the John Muir Trust. "But despite this setback, the fight to save the Monadhliath Mountains will continue.
The First Minister's apparent conversion was revealed by Cameron McNeish, a well-known hiker, and a prominent SNP supporter. He said he had recently discussed the new policy idea with Mr Salmond. "The First Minister is not averse to the idea of setting up turbine-free areas," said Mr McNeish. "He has come round to the idea that Scotland has areas well worth protecting."
Campaigners against the "further industrialisation" of the Scottish landscape by wind turbines have reacted sceptically to claims of an about turn on the issue by Alex Salmond. ..."If things are going to change, we would also like to see the guideline that suggests wind turbines should be at least 2km from homes being made mandatory. At the moment that guideline is routinely trampled over."
She claimed the UK Government and the European Union breached the UN's Aarhus Convention, under which the public must be given reliable and transparent information on environmental matters, and sufficient participation in decision-making.
Developers Falck Renewables Wind Ltd has announced they will not appeal the decision last month by Highland Council to refuse planning permission. Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said: “I am very glad that Falck have recognised the considerable opposition to their plans, and decided not to proceed with this development.
Energy firm InnoVent wants to build 10 turbines - each twice the height of Big Ben - on the site of the 1915 Battle of Loos, near Calais, where tens of thousands died. ...Local conservationist Bruno Schmit said InnoVent had taken no account of the site's historical importance.
Fears have been raised by councillors over a wind turbine development that could lead to ‘open season' for Dorset. Puddletown parish councillors voiced strong concerns at a meeting over the proposed nine-turbine complex.
"However, the area is now under imminent threat from wind farm developers. Separate plans from five different companies, if allowed to go ahead, would see the village encircled in a virtual ring of steel, which would devastate the local environment and put the villagers' way of life in peril."
But in Britain, a crowded and windy island with high rates of home ownership and an appealingly romantic view of its landscape, the conflict is exceptionally rancorous. It has also, unusually, become a national issue.
Chairman Sir Simon Jenkins yesterday singled out the proliferation of wind turbines as he highlighted concerns about the Government's planning reforms, which he said would cause ‘warfare' in local communities if not delayed.
"As I see it this scheme fails on all three counts, with all the benefits going to one person and the detrimental aspects suffered by the local people at large."
He suggested the wealthiest Scots are benefiting from the spread of wind farms at the expense of consumers, who have to heavily subsidise the technology in their energy bills. Among the landowners named in the book is the Duke of Roxburghe, who, he estimated, could earn £1.5 million a year from turbines erected in the Lammermuir Hills.
The brooding West Yorkshire countryside that inspired classics such as Wuthering Heights has been protected from plans for more turbines because of the importance of the famous sister writers. It is believed to be the first time the literary significance of an area has been put before the need for green energy.
Action groups from across the Borders - and both East and West Lothian - have called for the current guideline of a minimum of 2km between wind turbines and homes and businesses to be made compulsory to mitigate the impact of wind farms on people's welfare.
Opportunities might arise in the future to challenge the scheme as planning permission was sought for various stages of development. "At the moment we have to regroup and we will have to decide what we intend doing," he said.
"The UK's wind power deployment on and offshore is way ahead of the learning curve, and needs to slow down to a rational pace to avoid insupportable burdens on the consumer and the risk of major malinvestment the unwinding of which will be painful and embarrassing."
Coun Steven Bridgett, ward member for the area, said: "Having read the documents relating to this application and spoken to local residents, I will be objecting. The turbine is on a commercial scale and is the largest to have been proposed for the Coquet Valley."
"We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs."
"Due to the size and scale of the proposed turbine, and being located only 300 metres from housing, my constituents believe this will have a detrimental impact on their residential amenity. The potential noise levels could also have important implications on their health and wellbeing."