The meeting in the Glenferness Hall was well attended with around 70-plus people in attendance. It was a generally polite, if at times passionate, debate. The floor heard from three speakers, one for, one against and from a representative from the company which wish to build the wind farm on the Dava at Cairn Duhie. The pressing concerns of how the development would affect the lives of those close to it were articulated in a persuasive manner, equally compelling at times to this observer were the views of the guest speaker who spoke in favour of wind energy, the rep from the company planning the development also spoke with conviction too.
This was the Nairnshire version of a debate that is being played out all over
as the dash for renewable energy continues and the ripples of that sometimes
polemic discussion finally reached Glenferness last night. There were many
valid and powerful points made by both sides. When it came to a vote there were
only 2 in favour of the wind farm and 3 undecided. Many present were very much
sympathetic to the arguments for generating renewable energy but thought that
the Cairn Duhie proposal was too big and too near and would spoil the (managed)
wilderness of the Dava. Some even went as far to express the spiritual aspect
of the landscape that is the Dava. The effect on tourism and wildlife was
mentioned too; the contributions the company would make to the community and to
individual households to alleviate their energy bills; potential ecological
impacts were aired; an accusation of “greenwash and spin” was made against the
windmill lobby; industrialisation of a wilderness and much more – a lot of it
outlined in the video below Scotland
A member of the East Nairnshire Community Council present told the meeting that all 966 residents in the Community Council area would be receiving a ballot paper to express their views for or against the proposal.
Following the vote at the end of the meeting a fair number of people stayed behind to begin the mechanics of setting up an action group. There already is a website “Dava no More” here. The video below is from the initial period of the meeting before debate was thrown open to the floor and became less structured, it does show a few question and answer moments however, and although it is quite long it will hopefully give those that couldn’t attend the meeting a good idea of what happened last night. The profile of the Cairn Duhie application will obviously now gather momentum as the fledgling action group swings into action.
The Cairn Duhie issue hasn’t generated much debate in the town yet. Perhaps we all should pay more attention though, particularly after the result of the forthcoming ballot of all
East Nairnshire residents, and
maybe when a planning application comes then other Nairnshire CCs will consider
that application in the light of whatever decisions their colleagues in the
East make? It is after all part of a major debate that we are not immune from,
beyond the sheer physical presence of 360 ft turbines and the effects on the
lives of those close to the proposed wind farm (plenty said about that in the
video too) there lies the question of how we generate the electricity for our
energy greedy society. We have to act now to ensure the lights don’t go out in
the future but would Cairn Duhie be, as someone suggested last night, “the
wrong wind farm in the wrong place”? Perhaps the video might help you form an
Principal speakers are James MacKessock-Leitch (Scottish Green Party), Simon Feltenberg (RES), Pat Wells (long standing objector to wind farms). Apologies to cutting Simon short at the end mid way through a response (there are another six minutes of Simon here - if we have time we'll put the two videos together - hope we've spelt your surname correctly too Simon. Gurnites may wish to turn the sound up on their devices at times when watching the video, there wasn't a microphone available to members of the audience and some of the questions might be heard to hear for some. Thanks to the organisers and the speakers who agreed to the video at very short notice.