Torrential rain and weather warnings were not enough to stop a large group
of people walking along the shores of Loch Urr on Sunday to highlight their
anger at the proposed wind farm development by EON.
Residents from many communities, including Moniaive, Corsock, Dunscore,
Dalry, Gelston, Penpont, Thornhill, Ringford, Kirkpatrick Durham and
Portpatrick, wanted to voice their concerns and show politicians,
councillors, wind farm developers and landowners that “enough is enough”.
Protesters said they were particularly worried because the planning
application for the proposed wind farm at Loch Urr (50 turbines, each 418
feet or 127.5 metres high) will be made directly to the Scottish
government, rather than going first to Dumfries and Galloway planning
department, because the the generation capacity of the proposed Loch Urr
development is 50MW.
Many at the event were shocked by the map on display in Corsock Village
Hall that showed the enormous number of wind farms proposed for this part
of Galloway, and how the majority of the proposed developments join up
together like a jigsaw, which would result in thousands of acres of land
being used for wind farm developments.
Liz Cole, proprietor of The Moniaive Chocolatiers, said: “I have grave
concerns about the number of wind farms being proposed around Moniaive. My
business relies on tourism and is likely to be impacted by the proposed
wind farms as many tourists come to Galloway because of the unspoiled
beauty of the landscapes.”
Alan Withall, who lives at the Old Bridge of Urr and is a member of Corsock
and Kirkpatrick Durham Community Council, said: “This is one of the most
wild and beautiful parts of Galloway and it, like many other areas of
south-west Scotland, will be ruined if the wind farm developers have their
John and Hilary Craig, of Whiteside, Dunscore, added: “We think many people
in Dumfries and Galloway and even D&G councillors are unaware of the huge
cumulative impact that so many turbines in such a small area will have on
the landscape, wildlife and local communities. More than 200 giant turbines
over 120 metres tall are being proposed within a 10km radius.”
Spokespeople for the Save Loch Urr Association said they were pleased to
see so many people turning out, particularly in wet weather.
The Save Loch Urr Association now has over 200 members and supporters from
all walks of life, with the majority of their members living and working
within the Stewartry.