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Protesters air grievances about proposed windfarm

CAMPAIGN: Protesters gather outside New Elgin and Ashgrove Community Hall. Gordon Lennox
CAMPAIGN: Protesters gather outside New Elgin and Ashgrove Community Hall. Gordon Lennox

Campaigners against proposals for a windfarm on a Moray moor held a protest outside a consultation meeting yesterday.

German company Vento Ludens has tabled proposals to build up to 19 turbines standing 410ft tall at Brown Muir, about three miles north of Rothes.

Yesterday marked the first in a series of public drop-in events aiming to gauge opinion on the plans.

A cluster of protesters brandished placards outside New Elgin hall throughout the afternoon.

They claim Moray already has too many windfarms and fear the negative impacts far outweigh the benefits.

Representatives of Vento Ludens said the response to the proposals had been mixed, but insisted all comments would be taken on board.

Meg Deasley, of consultants Docherty Consulting, said: “There’s been a lot of lively discussions. But this was day one, there are another four to go. I hope the protesters do come in and register their views.

“Nothing’s been formalised yet. We are keen for people with specific concerns to tell us what they are.”

Marion Ross, who lives close to the site at Birchfield Crossing, Glen of Rothes, said she was concerned her water supply would be affected and was worried about the visual impact.

She said: “It’s just going to be one big long line of turbines. They say it’s green energy – it’s not. These things have got to be manufactured and transported. The value of our house will plummet. I don’t believe developers when there’s a financial incentive.”

She said local landowners should also be more responsible rather than “feathering their children’s nests”.

Meanwhile, Janet Donnelly, who also lives near the site, said: “Moray’s done its bit for the Scottish Government’s targets.

“You’re not going to be able to drive very far without being able to see turbines on the skyline. The government could be doing a lot more to save energy.”

Because of the size of the scheme, Vento Ludens is required to make a submission for consent to the Scottish Government.

The submission will be provisionally made around April. If successful, it is hoped the construction of the windfarm will be completed by 2015, and it will be fully operational by 2016.

A consultation meeting will be held at Fogwatt village hall today from 2-7pm, followed by meetings at Rothes, Lhanbryde and Inchberry this weekend and next week.

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