Posted by: tireecottage | July 22, 2010

Wind Farm Battle

From an article published in “The Scotsman” earlier this month:

Change comes to us all. Tiree is facing unprecedented change and should the massive proposed wind farm be built just off our shores we (your report, 5 July), our children and our grandchildren will have to live with the consequences.

We called a public meeting last month to give our community the chance to hear just how big the impacts might be. The key to our future came when one resident asked the developers if local objection could stop the project going ahead. We were told that, no, it probably couldn’t. For us this makes it clear: our job now is to fight for the best interests of the current and future community of Tiree.

We have to ensure that, if the development does go ahead, Tiree benefits as much as possible from it, while also minimising the negative impacts.

A local crofter pointed out at the meeting that the communities of Shetland did not set their faces against the inevitable construction of oil terminals at Sullom Voe; rather, they purposefully and deliberately entered into negotiations with the developers to ensure that community interests were met. They drove a hard bargain and, as a consequence, have done well. We intend to do the same.

We understand that holiday-makers will be aghast at the proposed scale of the development. We are, too. We also know that many holidaymakers come here year after year because they love the community of Tiree as much as the physical and natural environment. We ask that they now support us.

For us now, the fact that this is going to be a wind farm is almost irrelevant. For us what matters is that it is going to be very big and reach every part of what we do and who we are. This could be good: new jobs, housing, better roads and harbours, more young people staying on the island, more islanders returning, more choices.  It could also be bad: noise, pollution, crime, disturbance, visual impacts, loss of biodiversity and a loss of the Tiree way of doing things, including our thriving crofting, fishing and tourism sectors.

It seems from the response to your article that many people are worried on our behalf, and we thank them for that.
The best way for people to help us is to get behind us. Go to our website (tireetrust.org.uk) for general information and feel free to contact us with messages of support.  We now have to get through several years of hard bargaining with the developers and the Scottish Government, and knowing that lots of ordinary people, people just like us, are supporting us will help enormously.

LLOYD GUDGEON TIREE COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT TRUST


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