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Mountain council in new windfarm plea

Posted 1 November 2012
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Mountain council in new windfarm plea
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The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS) has taken its fight against windfarms on Scotland's higher mountains to the very top.

It has called on first minister Alex Salmond to protect such areas and has written with its concerns to all the firms attending RenewableUK 2012 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, a major event for the green energy sector.

Chief officer at the Council Dave Gibson suggested less people will go walking on Munros and Corbnetts affected by such developments. He remarked: "We believe that Scotland could be a pioneer of green energy good practice as well as power generation, but despite this opportunity the Scottish Government is demonstrating a lamentable lack of leadership.

"Some wind farm proposals are incredibly inappropriate and are leading to the industrialisation of our most beautiful, wild and open mountain landscapes."

He referred to the Allt Duine plan just outside the Cairngorms National Park boundary as a "truly dreadful" scheem and noted research from VisitScotland stating such turbines will "drive visitors away".

Mr Gibson added that he believes there are many in the renewable energy sector who are likely to back a strategy that protects the best of Scotland's scenery.

The Allt Duine proposal is currently the subject of a public enquiry and the MCoS has published details of submissions made in the past few days by one of its senior members, Rob Payne.

As well as saying the windfarm would bring "degradation" of the local landscape, he noted that after the pylons end their natural life 25 years on there are no plans by developer RWE nPower to remove the concrete bases and access roads on what is currently a largely-unspoilt landscape.

The Allt Duine scheme is opposed by more than just the MCoS, with the Cairngorms National Park Authority and John Muir Trust also against it and a public campaign group called Save the Monadhliath Mountains fighting the proposal.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801480293-ADNFCR