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Wednesday, 30 August, 2000, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Wind farm opposition 'blows over'
Wind farm
People within five kms of a farm were generally positive
Opposition to wind farms is likely to disappear once the turbines are in place and operating, according to a survey carried out in Scotland.

The System Three poll for the government interviewed more than 430 people living near Scotland's first four large wind farms.

The results suggested that any fears held before the facility was built were allayed when it was up and running.

Survey findings
430 people interviewed
67% said they liked wind farms
This figure rose to 73% among those living within 5km of a farm
Before operation, 40% anticipated problems
9% experienced problems after farm opened
14% were concerned about additional turbines
Most favoured uninhabited areas and high hills for locations
The most positive attitude was found among people living within five kilometres of a farm.

Environment Minister Sarah Boyack revealed the full results of the survey at the opening of Scotland's fifth wind farm in the Borders.

She said: "The most illuminating finding was that the closer people live to a wind farm, the most positive their attitude is towards them.

"The message that people's worries are often unfounded is also illustrated by the fact that 12% of respndents said they thought they would experience problems with noise but only one per cent reported experiencing problems.

"The Scottish Executive is committed to encouraging the increased generation of electricity from renewable sources but we recognise that many people have concerns about the development of such projects.

Sarah Boyack
Sarah Boyack: Supports renewable energy
"It is essential that we take great care to inform and consult local residents to ensure that we take into account their views while developing these schemes."

Operated by Scottish Power, Dun Law's 26 60m high turbines will generate enough power for 12,000 houses and prevent the release of 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

The other four farms at are Hagshaw Hill in Lanarkshire, Novar in Ross-shire, Windy Standard in Dumfries and Galloway and Beinn Ghlas near Oban.

Earlier this month, protesters warned that a proposed wind farm near the Queen Mother's childhood home of Glamis Castle would decimate local wildlife.

Twelve 225ft high turbines are proposed for the Angus development at Ark Hill. The final decision rests with Angus Council.

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Changes in the wind
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