The anti Cairn Duhie windfarm campaigners did the round of the town’s community councils before Christmas looking for support and signatures on letters to send to the Highland Council who will be consultees to the planning application that will have to be dealt with by Holyrood. The deadline for objections was the 24th of December. They will be hoping that they will have enough objectors to convince the Council to come out against the development. One councillor who will be easy to convince will be Provost Laurie Fraser who wrote in his election leaflet for the May 2012 election.
“On the issue of planning, I will support commercial development that brings employment to Nairn, small housing developments, but not windfarms – Nairnshire is not the place for rotating monuments.”
The debate about windfarms has raged in many parts of Scotland, part of a larger debate about how we keep the lights on in our energy hungry society. At the River CC meeting after a short presentation by Dick Ruane, Murd Dunbar asked: “What is going to be the alternative? A nuclear power station at Ardersier?”
Dick replied: “There are a number of options, there’s gas: gas is problem because of transporting it. We haven’t got enough gas, we’re not producing enough out in the North Sea. There’s fracking – now that’s not because it’s going to happen in the SE of England – it will happen. There is nuclear, when I was a young engineer I was working on building a Nuclear Power Station and I’m, personally, I’m absolutely convinced that are safe. They’re very clean. They are becoming cheaper relative to other fuels. We’ve also got a huge amount of coal reserves in Britain – that was stopped by a previous government and there are now ways and means to burn coal without wrecking the energy. So there are a variety. […] It’s not a question of my back yard, it’s not just the people in Glenferness that get to suffer. We’re all going to suffer by the loss of one of Scotland’s great natural heritage sites.”
These are complex issues for ordinary citizens to consider though the campaigners seem to have met with a polite and potentially positive reaction from local Community Councils but whether they created a large enough bandwagon of support to impress Highland Council remains to be seen. Windfarms may not be at the top of many people’s agendas in the town. Most people would agree that the Dava Moor is a beautiful place however - but will enough feel that a wind farm would destroy the Moor and should they feel so inclined, have sufficient numbers objected. As Dick Ruane told the River CC:
”The more individuals we get writing, the more chance there is of it getting objected to by the Highland Council so we then go on to have a war with Edinburgh. It’s as simple as that.”