Group hits out at wind farm report

The Oban Times - - News -

MOUN­TAINEER­ING Scot­land has re­futed a ‘mean­ing­less’ report that con­cluded wind farms had no ef­fect on tourism jobs.

The study by con­sul­tants BiG­GAR Eco­nomics said wind farms do not dis­cour­age hol­i­day­mak­ers and ‘puts to bed the myth’ that the sight of tur­bines dam­ages tourism.

But the coun­cil for moun­taineers, climb­ing and hill walk­ing en­thu­si­asts has hit back claim­ing ma­jor weak­nesses in the report make it ir­rel­e­vant to the de­bate over con­struct­ing wind farms in moun­tain ar­eas and wild land.

Dave Gor­don, Moun­taineer­ing Scot­land’s di­rec­tor for land­scape and plan­ning, ar­gued the BiG­GAR report ig­nores the im­por­tance of lo­ca­tion when mea­sur­ing the ef­fect of wind farms and uses sam­ple ar­eas that could fail to show very real ef­fects.

Dr Gor­don said: ‘This report as­sumes all wind farms are equal and will have the same ef­fect on tourism, but that’s ob­vi­ously not the case. In ar­eas where the land­scape is a ma­jor fac­tor in at­tract­ing tourism our own sur­veys have shown that peo­ple are de­terred by the pres­ence of wind farms. Th­ese ar­eas are not in­cluded in the BiG­GAR report.’

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