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Monthly News Bulletin

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Windfarm Letter Writing Campaign

A letter writing campaign that opposed plans for a wind farm near Portpatrick has been branded a success by campaigners.

Local residents launched the campaign in January at a meeting at the Downshire Arms after those attending took the view that locals stood to gain little from the development, while the firm behind it would rake in government subsidies.

Now the council's planning department said they have received a total of 151 letters — with 107 of these voicing opposition to the eleven- turbine wind farm development on Craigenlee Fell near Portpatrick. Letters were also sent to local councillors, MPs and MSPs.

The anti-wind farm group spokesman John Fenwick said:

"The support has been more than satisfactory in that it not only included the residents directly next door to the windmills, but also a lot of other people in the community.

"One thing that has been talked about is that there is little awareness of what the wind farms will mean in terms of impact,  environmentally and on the tourist industry.

"Local people will lose an amenity in terms of the unspoilt landscape and will have to pay for this through subsidies."

But Wind Energy, the firm behind the planned wind farm, said the number of letters sent to the council was unrepresentative of the local community, who it claimed were in favour of the development. Mike Davies, Managing Director of Wind Energy the firm behind the wind farm project said: 

"In the industry's experience, only a small minority of people respond to wind farm applications.

"These generally tend to be those who are against wind farm developments. The great silent majority, however, are generally supportive or largely indifferent.

"And from our experience from holding two public exhibitions in  Portpatrick, the majority of people who left comments were in support  of the proposal and all the benefits it would bring to the community."

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