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Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 20:50 GMT 21:50 UK
Vandals target wind farm campaign
A 27-turbine wind turbine is planned for Skye
Police in Skye are investigating acts of vandalism and attempts to intimidate local people who are campaigning against a proposed wind farm.

The incidents, which took place in the Edinbane area at the weekend, included the spraying of offensive graffiti and the cutting down of several trees.

Supporters of the Skye Windfarm Action Group (Swag) were targeted.

A Swag campaigner said the prospect of easy money from the wind farm had "driven a wedge" through the community.

Expressing concerns

A member of the protest group who runs a bed and breakfast had his sign sprayed with graffiti which said "Swag Scum".

About a dozen conifer trees on property owned by Swag chairman John Hodgson were cut down and left on his driveway.

Northern Constabulary are investigating the vandalism of a sign advertising a caravan site run by another Swag member, Ben Palmer.

A police spokesman said: "We are appealing for information following vandalism and what appears to be intimidation in the Edinbane area, following a number of incidents on the night of Saturday 28 May and Sunday 29 May.

"These acts appear to be directed at members of the community who have supported the Skye Windfarm Action Group which has recently been involved in making representations expressing concerns regarding the proposed wind farm at Edinbane."

I'm afraid the village of Edinbane had become like the Wild West.
Ben Palmer
SWAG member

International power company Amec was given permission to build 27 turbines at Edinbane, north of Portree, three years ago.

However, last week Highland Council sent the application back to the drawing board.

Planners say the risk of peat slides and the threat to golden eagles from the turbines means the plan should be considered afresh.

Mr Palmer, 58, who runs the Loch Greshornish caravan site, said the weekend's incidents were the culmination of a longer campaign of intimidation.

"There has been a number of very unpleasant incidents involving vandalism and malicious phone calls directed at Swag members by a hard core element of people who stand to gain from this wind farm," he said.

"Someone even had a brick thrown through their window and a 92-year-old woman received a very nasty phone call about SWag when her only crime was to be the mother of someone who objects to the wind farm plans.

"The police know who it is but it's a question of catching them. The prospect of easy money has driven a wedge through this community and set neighbours against each other and I'm afraid the village of Edinbane has become like the Wild West."

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25 May 05 |  Scotland
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01 Mar 02 |  Scotland

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