Labour, Tory and SNP MSPs unite against Buccleuch Estate new wind farm plan

Duke of Buccleuch
Duke of Buccleuch

Britain’s biggest private landowner – Scotland’s Duke of Buccleuch – has denied claims by local communities that plans to build a new wind farm on his land will release lead-contaminated water during the project construction.

The artistocrat’s property company Buccleuch Estates wants to erect 35 wind turbines around Wanlockhead in Dumfries-shire in the 151-MW North Lowther Energy Initiative.

The application is currently being considered by the Scottish Government.

But politicians from the SNP, Conservative and Labour parties have united in opposition to Buccleuch’s plans.

And the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has objected to the development over concerns about possible water contamination from historic lead-mining works.

Joan McAlpine, SNP MSP (South of Scotland) said: “The proposal to locate so many turbines in this area will irreversibly destroy its unique character.

“I would also be concerned that the wind farm development undermines the community’s plans to empower itself through the acquisition of the land.”

Oliver Mundell, Tory MSP for Dumfriesshire, said: The <Buccleuch> application is motivated solely by financial considerations and cannot be justified.

Claudia Beamish, Labour MSP (South of Scotland) said she agreed about the ‘cumulative effect of too many wind farms’ in the area.

In response, a spokesman for Buccleuch Estates said the company was in dialogue with SEPA over technical issues and added: “We have avoided areas identified as being at risk of contamination from old mines.”

5 Sept 2017

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