Moray MP Douglas Ross has expressed alarm that Moray could be saturated by windfarms if local opinion is not heeded. He spoke out after being contacted by local residents and business-owners fearful that the sheer number of applications for windfarms, if given consent, could saturate Moray’s upland landscapes.
Douglas said: “I am very concerned that the voices of local people are being ignored. The Dorenell windfarm, near Cabrach, was democratically turned down by Moray Council but that decision was ignored by the Scottish Government reporter who overturned the decision and approved the application regardless. I’m fearful that we could see this happen time and time again in the future.
“It is one thing to have windfarms in the landscape. Most people can live with that. It is quite another to turn our beautiful uplands into landscapes dominated by industrial developments. Tourist businesses, on which many parts of Moray are economically dependent, are feeling threatened and ignored. We must not allow our most scenic areas to be saturated following decisions made by people based in the Central Belt who don’t understand the impact their judgements are having.”
Cllr Claire Feaver (Forres), a former chair of Moray Council’s planning committee, said: “The size of the turbines being proposed are monumental. They are much bigger than anything we have seen before. Not only that but what we are seeing are applications to retrofit the new larger turbines on to existing structures and then create new windfarms near to existing ones. The result will be that great swathes of the horizon will be completely dominated by these huge developments.”
Cllr Feaver revealed that a large part of Moray has already lost its designation as an Area of Landscape value.
She said: “As a result of the Dorenell windfarm, we can no longer say that the surrounding area has great landscape value as it has been so degraded by turbines and pylons. Our objections to the application were cast aside. I am fearful that this could be the fate of other cherished historic landscapes in Moray. Renewable energy has a part to play in the energy mix but it has to be in the right places and Moray has already taken its fair share.”