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Scotsman: Tom Weir’s widow to head anti-windfarm campaigners

 

THE WIDOW of Scottish outdoors broadcasting giant Tom Weir will head a group of campaigners urging Alex Salmond to stop the spread of windfarms across Scotland during talks with the First Minister tomorrow. Rhona Weir will hand over a 4,500-strong petition in Bute House after joining forces with Stop Highland Windfarms to organise it.

Residents of rural areas, such as the Highlands, Galloway and Argyll, insist large areas of natural beauty are being scarred by the massive turbines.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s energy committee, said the petition outlines well the ‘fears communities have all over Scotland.’

He added: “People do not want to see their treasured countryside plastered with wind turbines, which aren’t even an efficient producer of energy.

“The SNP has consistently ignored these concerns, and pressed ahead with a damaging and poorly thought-out policy.

“This meeting with Mrs Weir gives Alex Salmond another chance to realise the very real impact his Scottish Government’s policy is having across the whole country.”

Source: The Scotsman

SCOTTISH WIND FARM OBJECTIONS SOAR TO MORE THAN 34,0000

Tens of thousands of Scots have protested to their local council about wind farm applications in the past five years, it has emerged. Since 2008 there have been 34,206 objections made to local authorities across the country.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s energy committee, said, “The tens of thousands of objections right across the country show the sheer level of public alarm at the SNP’s wind farm obsession. And what’s worse, all too often these concerns are completely ignored by an SNP government intent on fulfilling their own ludicrous renewable energy goals, whatever the cost. People aren’t just concerned about wind farms ruining their landscape and quality of life; they don’t want Scotland’s electricity supply dependent on a source that is unreliable and intermittent.

“When a council votes against a wind farm application, usually with the backing of its planning experts and local communities, the Scottish Government should respect that. Instead, we see ministers in Edinburgh overturning those decisions without any regard for local feelings or the knock-on effect any wind farm may have.”

See ScotBuzz

Read more: SCOTTISH WIND FARM OBJECTIONS SOAR TO MORE THAN 34,0000

Scotland Against Spin

As I had planned to do less during and after Xmas, there really hasn't been an opportunity to wish everyone season's greetings and a Kyoto-free new year!

But now we have had more news from the new group ...


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Launch of Scotland Against Spin
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 14:24:00 +0000
From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
   

Dear Supporter,

 

I hope that you received the press release before Christmas flagging up the creation of a new alliance to provide a focus for anti-wind farm groups and individuals.

 

The alliance is to be known as Scotland Against Spin.  The spin of the turbines, the developers and of course Scottish Renewables and the Scottish Government.

 

A website is a pre-requisite and that will go live in a skeleton form later this week. We will also be making our presence felt via social networking and more conventional comments and articles in the press.

I repeat that it is vitally important to Scotland to have a voice, beyond the excellent work local campaign groups do, to take our concerns to a wider audience, to engage at the political level and to provide media responses on issues as they arise. There is also a continuing role to provide support and advice to start up groups or individuals with concerns about a development. Following the success of the march in Perth in October I also see the effect more direct action can have so that should play an important part in future.

 

All this, with your help, we will do.

The Scottish Government is deluded to think that its target-driven, developer-led energy policy is well supported and popular with the Scottish people or with industry.

 

The government  received strong signals at the Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry into the Renewable Energy Targets that wind development in Scotland will reach a tipping point. I think we are at the tipping point.

 

I look forward to welcoming you to the alliance. Please visit our website http://scotlandagainstspin.org/ to register or email 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Best wishes for 2013 and for the success of Scotland Against Spin.

 

Graham

 

 

Graham Lang

 

Scotland Against Spin

GrahamLang (at} scotlandagainstspin {dot) org

 

SCOTLAND'S MOST DEPRIVED COMMUNITY SACRIFICED TO GIANT EXPERIMENTAL TURBINE

Plans to erect Scotland's tallest turbine on the edge of Methil in Fife have been slammed by new anti-windfarm alliance Scotland Against Spin for failing to protect hundreds of nearby residents from potentially significant noise nuisance. Campaigners have accused the licencing authority Marine Scotland of "negligence" over the issue.

At almost 650 feet in height (196 m), the three-bladed 7MW test turbine is part of Korean industrial giant Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) demonstration project at Energy Park Fife where it will tower over the coastal towns of Levenmouth and Methil. Although nominally offshore, it is located only 30 metres from high water beside Energy Park Fife and near to hundreds of homes. Approval for the application is expected to be rubber-stamped by the Scottish Government within a matter of weeks.

Fife anti-wind farm campaigner and co-founder of Scotland Against Spin Graham Lang has had "grave concerns" about the potential human impacts of the turbine since it was first announced by the First Minister a year ago. "While I understand demo turbines have to be tested, doing so only 30 metres offshore from a highly populated area raises huge visual and residential amenity questions", said Mr Lang.


Methil residents have been living with an onshore turbine by the Hydrogen Centre at Energy Park Fife which is less than half the height than the Samsung one. The Samsung proposal replaces an earlier consent for a 179 metre 2-bladed offshore test turbine by 2B Energy on the same site.

"I have engaged with Marine Scotland over quite along time to try and ensure that residents and workforces are protected from noise nuisance by incorporating an enforceable planning condition on noise in any consent. The initial consent for an earlier application by 2B Energy did not have a noise condition. Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show that in the advice given to ministers consenting the application noise was not referred to as an environmental impact," said Mr Lang.

Mr Lang called the proposal "a recipe for disaster". He said experience with turbines across the UK had shown that even when robust noise conditions were attached to consents requiring turbines to be switched off when noise levels exceeded a statutory maximum, they were "notoriously difficult, if not downright impossible to enforce".

"Families unfortunate enough to live beside noisy turbines end up at their wits' end. Unable to sleep and afflicted by a range of health impacts from the noise, they are then driven to despair when they find the authorities can do nothing to help them", added Mr Lang.

"We've had plenty of spin about this project from Samsung, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government but it can't be right to give no thought at all to the health and quality of life of hundreds of local people in what is already one of the historically most deprived communities in Scotland. This is a giant experiment and without an enforceable noise condition Methil residents are being sacrificed as guinea pigs."

RADICAL NEW ANTI-WINDFARM ALLIANCE LAUNCHED

RADICAL NEW ANTI-WINDFARM ALLIANCE LAUNCHED

A new alliance of Scottish anti-windfarm campaigners is promising bigger, stronger, more radical action against the Scottish Government's "ruinous" industrial wind policy.

Pulling together thousands of activists across Scotland and in social media, the new alliance is building on the anti-wind protest at the SNP's annual conference in Perth in October. One of its leaders, Graham Lang, said:

"It's vitally important to Scotland to have a voice, beyond the excellent work local campaign groups do, to take our concerns to a wider audience, to engage at the political level and to provide media responses on issues as they arise. There is also a continuing role to provide support and advice to start up groups or individuals with concerns about a development. Following the success of the march in Perth in October I also see the effect more direct action can have so that should play an important part in future."

Over 300 demonstrators marched through Perth to the conference venue, where they accompanied Alex Salmond's keynote speech with chants of "No More Turbines!" and "Save our Scotland!".

In Perth campaigners met Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. “He offered no hope that the target-driven, developer-led energy policy would not continue at full speed. He argued that the Scottish Government had been elected by the people of Scotland and that endorsement gave them a mandate to deliver their renewable targets,” said Mr Lang.

Linda Holt, one of the organisors commented: "How can the SNP claim a popular mandate for turbinising Scotland when only 25% of the electorate voted for them? When numerous delegates at the SNP conference we spoke to were unhappy with their party’s policy? When MSPs in rural areas besieged by wind developers know their constituents are dead further development? We know the SNP was shocked and worried by the strength of popular feeling in Perth. Already folk are gearing up for the next protest at the SNP's spring conference in Inverness in March."

The new alliance will co-ordinate Scotland's biggest popular protest to date against current SNP policy, and will work with all groups and individuals who want an urgent rethink of this policy. "A number of NGOs are becoming increasingly worried about the environmental, social and economic costs of industrialising the Scottish countryside with turbines", said Mr Lang, "While the Government can ignore individual groups, it's much harder if we are all calling for the same thing."


"The Scottish Government has decided 2013 is Year of Natural Scotland. This looks like the sickest of jokes when set beside its determination to blanket Scotland's most valuable landscapes and seascapes in wind turbines.

"It has admitted that there will come a tipping point, although it claims not to know what that tipping point will look like. It's still merrily ignoring the casualties of its windfarm mania - people, businesses and wildlife. 2013 will be the year when all those who truly champion Natural Scotland come together to demand the Government does the same."

Highland anti-wind campaigner Lyndsey Ward, whose recent questions to Alex Salmond about renewables jobs during First Minister Questions caused a correction to be made to the Parliamentary Record, said "The time for pussy-footing is past. Turbines are not creating the jobs, energy or carbon-saving the wind industry claims they do. People are angry that the Scottish Government just parrots the industry's sales talk. Already individuals are challenging the content of the information put out by Ministers and Scottish Renewables, and this alliance will up the ante".

Last week Communities Against Turbines Scotland, an umbrella group which had been the national voice of the anti-wind farm movement shut up shop and all who were members have been invited to join the new alliance.

Graham Lang was a witness for CATS at the Scottish Government Parliamentary Inquiry into Renewable Energy Targets, and a panellist and speaker at the Scottish Renewables Annual Conference. He has lobbied MSPs at Holyrood and at SNP annual conferences and helped organise the march and blimp flight in Perth. He has also played a key role in many anti-windfarm campaign groups in Fife, Perth and Kinross and Angus.

PICTURES:

For the Perth protest, please see

You might also like to publish a picture of the M74 turbines welcoming visitors to Scotland with the comment "Welcome to 2013 Year of Natural Scotland".