Torrential rain and weather warnings were not enough to stop a large group of people walking along the shores of Loch Urr on Sunday to highlight their anger at the proposed wind farm development by EON.
Residents from many communities, including Moniaive, Corsock, Dunscore, Dalry, Gelston, Penpont, Thornhill, Ringford, Kirkpatrick Durham and Portpatrick, wanted to voice their concerns and show politicians, councillors, wind farm developers and landowners that “enough is enough”.
Protesters said they were particularly worried because the planning application for the proposed wind farm at Loch Urr (50 turbines, each 418 feet or 127.5 metres high) will be made directly to the Scottish government, rather than going first to Dumfries and Galloway planning department, because the the generation capacity of the proposed Loch Urr development is 50MW.
Many at the event were shocked by the map on display in Corsock Village Hall that showed the enormous number of wind farms proposed for this part of Galloway, and how the majority of the proposed developments join up together like a jigsaw, which would result in thousands of acres of land being used for wind farm developments.
Liz Cole, proprietor of The Moniaive Chocolatiers, said: “I have grave concerns about the number of wind farms being proposed around Moniaive. My business relies on tourism and is likely to be impacted by the proposed wind farms as many tourists come to Galloway because of the unspoiled beauty of the landscapes.”
Alan Withall, who lives at the Old Bridge of Urr and is a member of Corsock and Kirkpatrick Durham Community Council, said: “This is one of the most wild and beautiful parts of Galloway and it, like many other areas of south-west Scotland, will be ruined if the wind farm developers have their way.”
John and Hilary Craig, of Whiteside, Dunscore, added: “We think many people in Dumfries and Galloway and even D&G councillors are unaware of the huge cumulative impact that so many turbines in such a small area will have on the landscape, wildlife and local communities. More than 200 giant turbines over 120 metres tall are being proposed within a 10km radius.”
Spokespeople for the Save Loch Urr Association said they were pleased to see so many people turning out, particularly in wet weather.
The Save Loch Urr Association now has over 200 members and supporters from all walks of life, with the majority of their members living and working within the Stewartry.