Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Windfarms - revisited

<![CDATA[ I was pleased to read on BBC Online that the two windfarms for Lewis (Ness to Stornoway and Eishken) are due to be debated again by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. There has been a storm following the Comhairle's decision in June 2005 to approve the two proposals. At least three councillors have been called to account by their respective community councils (Ness, Airidhantuim and Laxdale) over their decision to vote in favour. Several ballots in the areas mentioned revealed a large percentage (varying between 50 and 90%) opposed to the windfarm proposals as they stand.

Eishken landowner Nick Oppenheimer has already slashed the number of turbines he wants on his estate from 133 to 53. In approving the North Lewis scheme, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar reduced the number of turbines up there from 234 to 209. It is going to be very interesting to see what is going to happen in the Comhairle's debating chamber. I would also like to know whether new expert advice from various bodies like SNH and RSPB will have an influence on the eventual decision.

I suggest a secret ballot be taken of all residents of the islands of Lewis and Harris to gauge their support or opposition to the proposals as they stand to date.

Whilst being in favour of using renewable energy, I hold the opinion that the colossal schemes which are being planned for the Highlands and Islands have too severe an environmental impact. I'm not just talking about the views, but also about influence on birdlife and (in the case of Lewis) the layer of peat. ]]>

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