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Dear Ms Gallacher
I am writing with my objection to the proposal of Talladh a Bheithe Wind Farm Ltd to build 24 turbines in the Loch Rannoch area. The basis of my objection is, I imagine like many others, a) the potential for irrevocable damage to a key area of wild land and b) the impact this development would have on local businesses, residents and tourism in the area.
I write at 11pm on a Friday night with a baby crying next door, so please forgive me if I don't remind you at length about the most recent update to Scottish planning policy (published in June 2014) which pledges to safeguard key areas of wild land, and the associated wild land map revised at the same time, which recognises this place (14) as being such a key area. I also won't be dwelling on several independent polls and SNH consultations of the last 2 years which show overwhelming public support for the maintenance of these key areas as wild places to be treasured for the benefit of wildlife and people who both live in them, and visit.
Instead I'll tell you of a young, uneducated man from darkest South London who first visited Glen Coe with his family, barely a teenager, and had his mind utterly blown by the vast expanse of Rannoch Moor. Just a boy really, who coming from the city had never experienced anything so spacious, had never witnessed such a huge horizon. We weren't the usual suspects: a middle class family of hikers jollying around the hills in some post colonial reverie - instead we went to the Glen Coe viewpoint and toured around in a car. We took my mum back to visit the hospital in Inverness where she was born, but we were tourists.
But the feeling of crossing a threshold into self willed place not entirely under the thumb of human agency was a pivotal experience in my stupid youth. I can't begin to explain what effect it had on me, but there it was - before and after, like a switch had been flipped. I now know it stuck with me, and was a key reason I sought out these self willed places in the years after. In the end I came back to Scotland and had a family here. We pay taxes, contribute to a modern and tolerant multicultural country, and enjoy being outdoors as much as possible. I'm not a luddite - not everywhere has to be like Rannoch. But Rannoch does need to be left to be itself.
Scotland has a unique set of natural and cultural landscapes that once destroyed can never be repaired or replaced. You can't offset or mediate the scale of disruption that this proposal will bring on the ground, both in terms of carbon sequestration and local economies. I urge you to stay true to the planning advice given by the government in June this year, don't sell out local people with thriving SME's to a big business interest, and please continue to ensure that visitors can experience having their minds blown far into the future. Although some would have us believe otherwise, we all know for a human fact the world amounts to much more than euros, dollars, concrete and glass.
David Lintern and family
More info: Keep Rannoch Wild