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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Ramblers stage wind farm protest
Wind turbine
Ramblers urged Scottish Power shareholders to scrap the plan
Ramblers have staged a protest at Scottish Power's annual general meeting over plans for a wind farm project.

The Ramblers Association Scotland is opposed to plans for an 18-turbine wind farm at Green Knowes in the Ochil Hills and said it would spoil the landscape.

Protesters handed out leaflets to shareholders at the AGM in Glasgow, urging them to scrap the plans.

Scottish Power said the project had been approved by the Scottish Executive and would have minimal visual impact.

A public inquiry into proposals for six wind turbine developments in the Ochils is due to be held in October.

The reason people go to these hills is to escape development
Davie Black
Ramblers Association

However, the Ramblers Association claims Scottish Power has put in a separate application, which will be considered first.

Davie Black, the Ramblers' wild land campaigns officer, said: "We are dismayed at the decision by the inquiry reporter to allow this to go ahead in advance of the joint inquiry which looks at the whole strategic view across the Ochils.

"This wind farm is far too big to be accommodated by the landscape.

"Lots of people go walking in the Ochils and this wind farm will be very visible from up in these hills. The reason people go to these hills is to escape development."

The protesters urged Scottish Power shareholders to reverse the plans when they gathered for the AGM at the SECC on Wednesday.

'Ideal site'

The planned wind farm was initially refused permission by Perth and Kinross Council.

But the executive overturned that decision on appeal, giving it the go-ahead.

Scottish Power's director of renewables Keith Anderson said the protest came as "a surprise", given the lengthy consultation process which included local groups before the project received approval.

"There has been plenty of opportunity for anybody to raise any concerns or issues they have," he said.

"The local authority and the local planning department made the decision and they have had all the information necessary and we encourage that approach.

"We believe it is the ideal site for a wind farm."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Hear why the ramblers are protesting



SEE ALSO
Council objects to wind farm plan
10 May 06 |  Tayside and Central
Lewis wind farm plans scaled back
27 Apr 06 |  Highlands and Islands
'Largest' wind farm gets go-ahead
27 Apr 06 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Councillors scale back wind farms
20 Apr 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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