Chamber opposes windfarm

Plans to create the second largest windfarm in Europe off the Mull of Galloway would decimate an already fragile tourist economy in Galloway, according to the Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has given its backing to communities in the Rhins, led by Kirkmaiden Community Council, opposed to the proposals which could see more than 1,000 turbines situated just off ‘Scotland’s Land’s End.’

President of the Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce, Peter Jeal said: “Whilst this Chamber supports clean and sustainable energy sources, the siting of windfarms should be carefully considered to take full account of the impact they will have and the wind speeds that can be expected in any particular location.

“Tourism in this part of Scotland has already plummeted by more than a third between 2005 and 2009 according to figures produced by Oxford Economics and a windfarm on this scale will decimate tourism in Wigtownshire which would be bad news for businesses and jobs locally.

“This area also has some of the lowest windspeeds in Scotland. Any economic benefit proposers of the scheme may claim will accrue to the area are unlikely when taken against the losses incurred by tourism, one of the area’s key industries after farming and forestry.

“Furthermore, the power generated is likely to go to England as it does from the Robin Rigg windfarm and any jobs to construct this windfarm will almost certainly use contractors brought in from elsewhere,” he said.

The Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce also opposed plans for an offshore windfarm in Wigtown Bay. That scheme has since been withdrawn.

Mr Jeal continued: “We are delighted to offer our support to the South West Wind Farm Action Group and will use our contacts to bring pressure to bear for a complete rethink on this whole issue of dumping large-scale windfarms around our unspoilt coastline and countryside.”