Riding at Hadyard Hill

This was a comment made at the end of January when Linfairn was the only new development we were aware of.

I feel deeply depressed at the sheer number and vast spread of these polluting industrial installations throughout the beautiful, natural countryside of SW Scotland. My husband and I often hack on horseback including through Auchalton, Glenalla, Linfairn and Balbeg or past Dyke on our way to Straiton so we’re familiar with the state of the area’s single-track roads, paths and natural attractions. We live around a mile from Hadyard Hill wind farm and, while we can’t see turbines from our property, we can hear them when the wind is southerly and the noise they make is deep, loud, stressful and unpleasant and can persist for days on end. Despite being a condition of planning permission Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has only fairly recently, and grudgingly, made access for walkers and horses possible to some areas of the Hadyard windfarm site thanks to the extremely helpful and proactive intervention of UPM Tilhill and their local area manager in Straiton. Much of the windfarm site remains inaccessible despite ‘right to roam’ legislation. Sadly, even with access to some of the site via turbine roads, the loss of amenity is significant as the turbine noise is unpleasant to ride or walk through. On several occasions I’ve found dead birds near or under the turbines, usually buzzards. Access to windfarm sites alone is little compensation for the huge loss of amenity in the form of unspoiled countryside and it must have a detrimental effect on local businesses that depend on tourism – which is probably the only significant economic activity in such a sparsely populated area, other than farming. Based on my experience of Hadyard Hill windfarm the proposed Linfairn windfarm promises to similarly further diminish public access to public space and diminish amenities for the people of Straiton. Furthermore, the proximity of turbines to homes and businesses, such as Balbeg and Dalmorton, is really alarming and surely – give their impact on health, sanity and property values – illegal. Consequently, absolutely oppose development of a windfarm at Linfairn.

(UPM Tilhill is a private forestry company)

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