Stop the North Lowther Wind Farm
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Because of their isolation from human intervention, the Lowther Hills are a vital asset to Scotland for its population’s health and wellbeing.
The Lowther Hills can be accessed by in excess of 1 million people within an hours drive via excellent transport links. The majority of these people live and work in urban environments and benefit enormously from being able to access areas of clean, open and unspoilt natural environment such as the Lowthers for all manners of recreational activities that have
undeniably positive effects on heath, fitness and mental well-being. Quality of life, and the
necessity for natural landscapes that are free from human intervention, must be seriously considered.
A rare and true sense of seclusion, naturalness and remoteness can be experienced here which would be entirely lost with the interruption of wind turbines.
The proposal, by adversely affecting the quality of the landscape due to its scale, location and associated infrastructure, will adversely impact on tourism in the area which is vital to the local economy and the survival of local communities.
Walkers and tourists frequent the area to enjoy the natural beauty. The proposals will detract from the experience of walking and other outdoor activities in the North Lowther Hills and will have a detrimental effect on the quality of the Southern Upland Way which passes through the application site. Current visitor highlights include the unique and popular spectacle of the sheer, rugged slopes in the Mennock Pass and well established walking routes and viewpoints with uninterrupted views to Glasgow, Arran and Jura. If this development goes ahead, visitors will go elsewhere to seek unspoilt landscape.
Businesses in the area rely heavily on tourism to survive; declining visitor numbers would reduce income to the area and see the decline of jobs and businesses. Any jobs created by the proposed development could never account for the number of jobs/business lost and the reduction in local services that this would bring about. This is a time when income and business needs to be strengthened rather than challenged, particularly in an area such as this where means of sustaining an income are already very restricted.
The landscape currently provides an ideal habitat for a huge variety of wildlife, most notably rare protected bird species with short-eared owls, hen harriers and peregrines amongst many others sighted in the area on a daily basis. It is undeniable that we would see these species quickly disappear as a result of wind turbines destroying their habitat and nesting ground. The area is close to the internationally designated Murikirk SPA, which
highlights the international importance of protecting these birds.
This proposal would link up existing windfarms in the Clyde Valley and Nithsdale and would create a huge upland area dominated by wind turbines. Ultimately a much wider, cumulative effect will be felt as tourists are driven away from the whole of South Scotland.
Further more to develop this land for wind turbines would be entirely contradictory to the Dumfries and Galloway Local Development Plan. This area has many protected designations and it is vital that the area continues to be protected at the highest standard. Wanlockhead and the surrounding area is currently the largest designated Conservation Area in Dumfries and Galloway. This exists to protect its rich mining history and unique housing, the likes of which cannot be seen anywhere else in Scotland. In opposition to the Conservation Area designation, the proposed turbines would impact directly and severely on the scenery within, from and into this area, destroying all sense of authenticity and historical integrity currently upheld in the village.
The archaeology of the area is of national importance and must be preserved for the education and insight it offers into our Scottish industrial heritage for current and future generations. As much of this is underground, the fabric of this archaeology would be compromised as the result of ground works for the proposed turbines. Wind turbines in the landscape would be unsympathetic to the original setting of this archaeology.
NLEI Ref. No. ECU00000426
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