Youngsters widen turbines debate

AN ONLINE campaign started by a group of local young people in favour of GSK’s wind turbine plans is gathering steady support.

The Facebook page was set up in December with the aim of gauging public opinion on the project to site two 426-feet high turbines at the Cobden Street factory and has so far attracted 170 followers.

Although the page is open for anyone to look at and comment on, the youngsters are particularly keen to gather the views of their peers as well as widen the debate on the future role of renewable energy.

A spokesman this week said the issue is not just about power generation but also about future jobs for Montrose’s young people, and while acknowledging that the subject is “sensitive” for people living near the proposed turbine site he suggested it is one that will have to be faced increasingly.

He said: “With Scotland capable of producing 25 per cent of the estimated capacity of the EU through wind and tidal power, the construction of the technologies in sometimes controversial locations may well be something we need to tolerate in the future.

“For a company like GSK to aim for carbon neutral emissions on our doorstep is a brilliant opportunity not only for the town but also for the youth of Montrose who are going to be able to witness first-hand how the near future of energy is going to look, in turn promoting jobs in the energy sector as well as inspiring people to develop further the technologies we currently use.

“We understand that the height of the turbines is the main controversy behind the project, however one of the users on the page highlighted that with the introduction of modern transmission towers there was a similar amount of objection to their cumbersome and industrial nature. Today we take no notice of them and they are just part of the country skyline. The same can probably be said for wind turbines.”

He added that although the turbines’ visual impact is not the only concern, there is still a question mark over issues raised regarding alleged health risks of living near the structures.

He added: “Scientific research that we all have access to can disprove any apparent health risks, which can be backed further by how smoothly the Michelin site in Dundee has run since their introduction of two similar sized turbines in May 2006.

“Although the page was set up to back the project in Montrose, it was also a way for people to voice their opinions and share with others. The main thing is that we can get people to think about how the world might function and operate in the next 20 to 30 years, whether it be through renewables, nuclear fusion of fission, hydrogen or fossil fuels.

“This is definitely a subject that is only going to continue to hit home a lot more and affect every one of us.”

The group’s page can be viewed at