By David Proctor

A tiny north-east community has raised fresh fears that its beach will
become a windfarm landing site.

Giant offshore cables could land at Sandend Bay with the company behind the
project choosing the potential area for its onshore infrastructure.

The beach, which is a renowned surfing hotspot, is right in the middle of
the development area.

The latest public meeting as part of the consultation for the project was
held at Sandend village hall yesterday.

Locals have said they are still very much opposed to the wires from the
Moray West development coming to their precious sands.

Johnny Ewart, who is a member of the Save Our Sandend campaign and a
surfer, said he is concerned that the village beach could still be used.

He said: “They have shrunk it down but Sandend is still in the middle.

“We just don’t want our beach affected in any way, shape or form. The waves
are too good really to risk any sort of change.

“Everything here is perfect the way it is and we don’t want anything to
ruin it.”

Ray Murray is the chairman of the Fordyce, Sandend and district community
council and said “very few” villagers backed the development.

He said: “Very few people have given any indication that they are in favour
of what is being suggested.

“All of them are concerned for the disruption during the constructional
efforts and they are also concerned about the long term affects.

“It is a 400,000 volt cable and the question I always ask is ‘Would you let
your grandchildren play on the sand just above it?’ When you put it like
that people say they don’t want it.”

A spokesman for Moray Offshore Renewables said he was “delighted” that
locals had come to last night’s consultation event.

He said: “We are delighted at the turnout and look forward to collecting
feedback from local people.

“We have been able to provide updated details of our process and we will
continue to engage with the community council and local community as the
project develops.”

The Moray West offshore windfarm will be made up of 90 turbines in the
Moray Firth and it will provide power for around 900,000 homes.

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