Debate alive in Ayrshire

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CAMPAIGNERS against the Scottish Government’s wind farm policy set out their plans last week at a national conference in Ayr organised by two Carrick women.

And protesters were also told of plans for a windfarm site at Carrick landmark Culzean Castle.

Susan Crosthewaite and Kim Terry were delighted with the turnout of people who voiced their disapproval to the development of windfarms throughout the country.

Up to 300 protesters attended the conference held at Ayr Racecourse and organiser Mrs Crosthewaite said: “We got a great turnout from all over Scotland and there were also people from down south who attended.

“It was a great learning experience for everyone who attended, which is what we hoped would happen.

“We were told of plans to resurrect a windfarm site at Culzean Castle which shocked a few people.”

The keynote speaker at the conference was former local councillor Struan Stevenson whose speech, National Follies, said simply that “windfarms don’t work.”

He said: “They produce a trickle of electricity at vast cost to the consumer. They desecrate the landscape and make’s people’s lives a misery. And they don’t even cut carbon emissions, they are literally a waste of space.

“We had a case recently in Ayrshire where an English company applied for planning approval for a windfarm on the highest hill overlooking Culzean Castle, one of Scotland’s most iconic tourist attractions.

“Culzean was designed by Robert Adam to fit into the surrounding hills and bay as an architectural masterpiece of global importance. Even to consider erecting industrial turbines in this unique location was almost a criminal offence.

“But the local council and community had to withstand several years of cost and anxiety as they fought against plans, until finally, in August, the application was withdrawn and the company walked away.

“And now the landowner has applied for a series of individual turbines dotted across the same hills, so the whole tortuous war of attrition will start again.”

Mr Stevenson went on to offer alternatives to wind farm technology to meet renewable targets and said we can start at home to meet targets.

He said: “I don’t want to end on a negative note with people accusing me of attacking renewable wind energy without offering any viable alternative.

“I believe we can save 75 per cent of the energy we currently use by being more efficient. It is shocking that we still allow homes to be built in Scotland with single-glazed windows and no loft insulation. Triple glazing and proper insulation would cut our energy bills dramatically.”

Susan added: “We have plans already to hold another conference such was the success of Friday. And we will now form a bigger group from bodies across the country so we can speak with one voice to the Scottish Parliament.”

Labour MP for Ayr, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Sandra Osborne said that she was delighted that the windfarm debate was being brought to the heart of her constituency and called for wider debate on windfarm policy.

She said: “I am delighted that Ayr has been able to host this important conference and I am pleased that it was so well attended.

“My message to the Government today following the conference is that wider debate must take place in order to inform a sensible policy.”