Windfarms Make
Scotland More Attractive

Alex Salmond has said that onshore windfarms do not spoil the countryside and actually make Scotland more attractive. He told delegates at a renewable energy conference in Edinburgh that he did not think there was any serious evidence that windfarms were incompatible with the landscape.

The Scottish Government has said that tourists are largely indifferent to sensitively sited turbines.

The Scottish Government has also set a target of generating 100% of electricity from renewables by 2020.

This shows how much its politicians know about tourism and energy generation.

It also shows the degree to which it is in touch with the needs of ordinary people.

Highland B&B owner Lyndsay Ward said she was stunned and horrified by Mr Salmond’s stance. She said "There is a burning question that people threatened by industrial windfarm development are asking themselves. If this government cannot be trusted to care for the environment, and protect people in rural communities from predatory windfarm developers, then how can it be trusted with independence?

The answer for many is that the government cannot be trusted and they will vote accordingly in 2014."

Ms. Ward said that guests told her they were horrified by the prospect of the landscape being peppered with turbines and would be less likely to visit Scotland in the future.

Her remarks were seconded by Douglas Ross, Moray Council planning convener. He said that Alex Salmond's comments would reinforce people’s fears that the SNP would erect turbines in inappropriate areas to meet green energy targets. He made the point that reasons for refusal include visual intrusion on the landscape. The first minister's comment that they have no impact is therefore untrue.

Peter Argyll, chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee said that many residents across the region disagreed with Mr Salmond’s comments. People in Aberdeenshire are expressing concern about the impact turbines are having on lifestyle, landscape and way of life.

Murdo Fraser, convener of Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee, said Mr Salmond’s “staggering defence” of windfarms would not be appreciated by communities across Scotland.

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