I do not wish to explore the questionable science or the possible economic benefits to Yell of Isles Energy’s wind farm proposals (Proposal to build large wind farm in north Yell; SN, 29/11/2017). I will leave that to the individuals and organisations more familiar with those arguments.
I am fully in favour of renewable energy. The five wind turbines at Gutcher are a credit to the North Yell community. Erected near a road, a quarry and the ferry terminal they sit well within the built environment.
Although Isles Energy’s turbines are intended to be located in the remote wilds of Yell this does not mean that the project should be permitted. The fact that these turbines will have minimal visual impact on most of us is one of the main reasons why it should not.
If we have to build them they should be closer to areas of human activity and let’s keep the wild places wild. Along the existing Cullivoe hill road would be more suitable with the dual benefit of an upgraded existing track and not industrialising the Lochs of Lumbister. Can we also reduce their size and number? 100 meters is too big and 63 is too many. Compromises can be made.
The area is described as ‘blanket bog’. Although this is technically correct it gives the impression that the land is worthless and that nobody would want to go there. This is not the case. There are wet areas of course but it is mostly grassy coastal vegetation or good solid carbon capturing peat.
Have any of the mainly Lerwick project’s backers ever been to the area they propose to destroy? Have all of you taken the time to check out Lumbister? Vigon? Gloup Voe? Heatherdale? Wonderful places.
Awesome views of towering cliffs, lochs with sandy beaches, winding burns and waterfalls. Wildlife. Archaeology. The full Shetland menu. There is very little evidence of recent human activity at all.
There are very few places like this left. Anywhere.
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