Public meeting discusses next steps for Sandend wind farm

Sandend beach.

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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