Saturday, November 02, 2013

Controversial wind farm proposal for Cairn Duhie on the Dava - video of meeting at Glenferness Hall (01/11/13)

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 Scotland 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

 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 opinion. 

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.


Anonymous said...

There's already one windfarm spoiling the views on the Dava. The last thing I want to see is another one right on it and I am absolutely against this development.
If these things must be developed they should be for the benefit of the whole community.
They should be built in Scotland creating Scottish jobs, not imported lock-stock-and barrel from abroad with all the financial benefits distributed locally. If the company in favour of them are so commited to green energy, why don't they do it on a not-for profit basis ?

Bill Evans said...

As stated in the articale we are forming an Action Group to fight against the proposed windfarm development on this unigue spot in our community. We need your support! So please anyone wishing help either by getting involved or with funding, please get in touch with me Bill Evans at

Brian Turner said...

If you don't want wind farms, the answer is simple: stop using electricity.

Oh, wait - you mean there's a cost to our consumer lifestyles? And it's better to build a power station in someone else's backyard?

Are there any considered objections to this windfarm other than NIMBYism?