Public split on Scottish wind farms
A survey has found public views are split over whether the building of major wind farms on Lewis in the Western Isles should go ahead.
A public attitute survey, carried out by market researcher Ipsos MORI for the Western Isles Development Trust, found 41 per cent of respondents supported major wind farms on the island, while 40 per cent were against any such development. Some 19 per cent said they had no opinions on the building of major wind farms on Lewis.
Meanwhile, some 80 per cent of the 601 people polled said they supported proposals to create a research centre, for the study, research and development of renewable enegry in the Western Isles and 75 per cent said they supported upgrading the link between the Isles and the National Grid.
Of those who supported the principle of building major wind farms on Lewis, the main reason they gave was that they generally backed wind energy as a clean way to generate electricity. The majority of opponents explained that they were concerned about the risks to views and scenery.
The Western Isles Development Trust was set up in 2004 to encourage the renewal and economic development of the area. Its chairman Peter Carlin said: ‘It would appear from this survey that opinion in the community both for and against wind farms is very evenly matched.
‘That places an onus on all of us to discuss and debate these issues in an open manner that is tolerant to everyone’s opinions. The challenge is to achieve the economic potential that the renewable industry offers, while safeguarding the environment.’
Source: Planning Resource