More than 4,000 people have signed a petition to “save” the pristine sands of a coastal community.
The Save Our Sandend campaign was launched last month after proposals were unveiled to carve through the village’s beach in an effort to connect an offshore wind farm to the national grid.
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 who has claimed his sport would be affected by the plan, launched a fight against the proposals last week.
Representatives from the Moray West scheme are now due to meet community councillors on February 8.
In the meantime, more than 4,000 have signed the group’s online petition calling for a rethink.
And last night, Mr Sutherland said it was “encouraging” to have the backing of the community at large.
“It’s been amazing, because I’m so aware that a lot of these campaigns aren’t supported,” he said.
“We have got universal backing pretty much and there doesn’t seem to be anything negative coming against us. We’re all for wind energy, we just don’t want one of the best surfing spots in the country taken away from us.”
Craig Milroy, a spokesman for the wind farm scheme, said the consultation process about where to land the cables would continue.
A public exhibition hosted by the firm will take place at the Station Hotel, Portsoy, on March 1.
However, representatives from the firm will first meet with the local community council this Thursday, at 7.30pm, in the Sandend Village Hall.