Moray windfarm group “blown away” by public support

SNP members of local authority facing a backlash from protesters

A Moray action group which set a national record for opposing a controversial windfarm has launched a second campaign against a revised proposal for the same scheme.

Members of the Save the Brown Muir campaign commended the “incredible” public support they received in Elgin on Saturday.

A petition opposing the latest plans for 12 wind turbines at the Brown Muir was signed by 450 people.

The original project – which featured 19 turbines on the landmark hill south of Elgin – broke a Scottish planning record when it attracted 2,201 objections.

It was unanimously rejected by Moray councillors in 2012.

Speaking last night, campaigners said they expected a similar level of opposition before the deadline for public comments on the latest proposal closes on December 18.

Glen of Rothes resident Derek Ross said: “The response from the public has been absolutely fantastic. We had 450 objections in just four hours, which was absolutely incredible.

“It just shows how people are sick of windfarms in the local area. Each of these 450-foot turbines is the size of a jumbo jet.

“The Brown Muir is a landmark site. These turbines will be seen by people in Elgin, Garmouth, Lossiemouth and Lhanbryde.

“What people will be greeted with on the A96 is just a ring of steel. It’s just awful.”

George Herraghty, of Lhanbryde and Moray Mountaineering Club, was among the objectors last time round and is ready for another fight.

He said: “Brown Muir is probably the most prominent hill in the Laich of Moray. The giant industrial machines would be clearly visible from my home and practically every community on the coastal plain.

“An unspoilt Brown Muir belongs to all the people of Moray and beyond. It is our inherited birthright to enjoy and pass on to our children. Let us treasure its natural beauty and keep it that way.”

When the revised plans were unveiled, the company behind the scheme, Edinburgh-based green energy firm Vento Ludens, said it has reduced the number of turbines in response to comments from residents.

Bosses said they had shifted the most prominent towers from the ridge at Brown Muir and moved others so the windfarm sits closer to the south east boundary of the site.