Protesters take case to SNP conference

Wind farm protestor demonstrated  outside the SNP annua conference in Perth at the weekend
Wind farm protestor demonstrated outside the SNP annua conference in Perth at the weekend

Berwickshire wind farm protestors were among the hundreds from across Scotland who converged on the SNP conference at Perth.

They were there to protest against the SNP’s renewable energy policy and called on Alex Salmond to “halt wind runaway energy development”.

Marion Livingston, chair of the Borders Action Group, said: “As its destructive impacts on the environment and the economy become ever clearer, SNP wind policy has turned into a major rural vote-loser and threatens the independence vote.”

Among the Borders contingent protesting at Perth were Stella and George Matthews from Coldingham, who live close to the Drone Hill wind farm on Coldingham Moor.

Prior to the demonstration they met energy minister Fergus Ewing earlier in the week to discuss the impact the wind farm had had on them and, in particular, on the value of their home.

Apart from a brief talk with deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, SNP delegates inPerth would not engage with the ‘Scotland Against Spin’ protestors. “Most people scuttled past us to get into the conference,” said Stella. “One or two came out, but there were one or two unpleasant hand signals from some!”

Stella and George had travelled to Edinburgh earlier in the week to meet Fergus Ewing 
and were disappointed that what they thought was going to be a one hour meeting was cut short.

“In the short time we had George spoke about the problems of, not just ourselves, but many, many, householders,” said Stella.

They also met Professor Pryce who is conducting a study into the impact of wind farms, but the Matthews, and others, feel that the remit of his study is too narrow.

“We are all extremely disappointed that the study is not going to be qualitative as well as quantitative,” said George Matthews.

“For the study to be 100 per cent meaningful and so that we obtain a comprehensive report from Professor Pryce, the 
study must also must look at all the issues in connection 
with house values/amenity in relation to wind farms, and include a survey of people living in the shadow of wind farms along with a survey of estate agents.

“We are strongly of the opinion that anything less will not be of value; it will be a waste of time and the tax payers’ money.

“We also asked that the 
government commence without delay a system of compensation for people living in the shadow of wind farms and suffering blight, the compensation must be retrospective and adequate.

“It is not the developers who created this problem it is the government with its renewables policies, and they must pay the compensation.”