St Andrews residents air concerns over wind energy

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Organisers of last week’s public meeting in St Andrews to discuss wind energy have declared the event a big success.

More than 300 people packed into the town hall to hear contributions from Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson and Graham Lang from the East Fife Turbine Awareness Group, among others.

Mr Stevenson has been rapped for politicising the issue with his strong criticism of First Minister Alex Salmond and the SNP government’s policies on windfarms.

Cameron Community Council, who organised the event, have written to Fife SNP councillor David MacDiarmid to apologise for the offence those remarks caused him on the night.

In his speech, Mr Stevenson said: “It irritates me to think what will happen to the East Neuk’s fishermen and our world-class fishing grounds if the SNP encase our coastline in turbines.

“They simply haven’t thought this through. Why are they going to ruin areas that have been fished for hundreds of years in order to build wind turbines that will last 20 at a push?”

John Mayhew, director of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, added: “The easiest unit of energy is the one you don’t have to generate at all.”

“There’s too much emphasis on increasing energy supply and not enough on reducing demand.

‘‘We can go a long way towards solving our energy problems if we concentrate on saving and efficiency, renewable micro generation, small-scale community renewables and large-scale hydro, wave and tidal power.”

Susan Crossthwaite, of Communities Against Turbines (CATS), said the turnout for the meeting demonstrated a widespread concern over wind energy.

“Turbines are not a NIMBY problem because they will touch everyone’s lives,” she said.

“Great swathes of the Scottish landscape and coastline – not even its most scenic or iconic places are exempt – will be affected by industrial turbine installations.

‘‘People really want to know why this is happening and what it means for them, and they are not getting this information from government rhetoric about green energy or the sales-pitch of greedy developers.

“Even our elected councillors are unaware of the true facts.”

A representative of the Trump Organization attended the meeting but did not address the audience.