A new windfarm is proposed between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht. This will have profound effects on the local landscape and my objection to this development is here. Please join me in objecting to this inappropriate industrial development – feel free to reuse and amend any text from here.
More information on the MCS website.
I am writing to you to object to the proposals by Talladh a Bheithe Wind Farm Ltd to erect 24 wind turbines on moorland between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht. The basis of my objection is the negative visual impact of these turbines, the damage to wild land that will ensue and the effects on tourism in the local communities.
Scotland’s wild landscape is a unique asset and I am disappointed that the Government’s encouragement of wind farms in remote and beautiful areas does not seem to recognise this. This area has a particular resonance for me as it was in 1967, aged 16, where I climbed Schiehallion, my first Munro. The visual impact of a major industrial site from this summit and the neighbouring hills will irrevocably ruin the landscape for generations to come. It is not just the local hills that will be affected – the outlooks from the Ben Alder hills, the Glencoe hills and the Glen Lyon hills will all be affected.
We have seen, since I started going to the hills, a very welcome and significant increase in people exercising in and enjoying the Scottish Landscape. Not only is this beneficial for the individuals themselves, it has also led to a major expansion of tourism in the Highlands. We have, without doubt, a health crisis in Scotland and anything that can be done to encourage exercise should be done. Hill walking will be rather less attractive to future generations when the view is blighted by these wind turbines. And this, of course, is likely to have serious effects on our developing tourist industry.
Of course, the problem with wind farms is not simply the turbines themselves. The access roads in fact do far more damage to the land and, given the climate, the ensuing scars take tens or even hundreds of years to repair. Furthermore, because of the damage to peatland caused by road construction and the excavations for the turbines themselves, the study by Aberdeen University showed that the carbon saved by the use of wind energy rather than fossil fuels is often negative because of the loss of the peat’s carbon sink.
Finally, I note that there is considerable local opposition to this development by local tourist businesses. Small businesses are far more effective than multinationals in creating local employment and, critically, retaining and using the profits of that employment in the local community. A loss of even a small proportion of the tourists in this area as a result of the landscape destructions may make a significant proportion of existing businesses unviable. I believe that the Government have a greater responsibility to those living in Scotland than they do to multinational power companies and that everything possible should be done to ensure that local initiative is not stifled by inappropriate industrial development.
Professor Ian Sommerville