By Jamie Ross

A public meeting was held last night to discuss a community’s next steps in
an attempt to block a windfarm development.

Campaigners from Sandend have been fighting since January to prevent
offshore infrastructure for a massive green energy scheme landing on their
pristine sands.

The Moray West Offshore Windfarm aims to deploy 90 turbines off the coast
of the Moray Firth which could provide power for 900,000 homes.

But one of the possible routes for cables to connect the scheme to the
Blackhillock substation, near Keith, draws a line through the tiny village
of Sandend.

Campaigners, including a local surfing instructor, have since launched a
fight against the proposals.

At the meeting last night, locals raised their concerns with David Duguid,
the area’s Conservative MP.

He said: “I came to Sandend this evening to meet constituents and listen to
concerns that have been raised about the Moray West Offshore windfarm project.

“A number of people have contacted me about this application and I also
know that thousands of people have signed a petition that has been
circulating online.

“While the planning application is a matter for Aberdeenshire and Moray
councils to consider, I am always willing and happy to engage with local
residents and do whatever I can to help.”

A petition created to highlight the issue facing Sandend reached 5,294
signatures before being closed.

It included messages from locals and holidaymakers who have spent time on
the sands.

One message from Kerry Wright said it would “be such a shame” if the cables
landed at the beach.

Another, from Susan Pirie, branded the project a “completely ridiculous idea”.

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