The fundamental concern of Save Our Hills is that Scotland, and in particular Dumfries and Galloway, is being overwhelmed by wind farms without sufficient account being taken of their downsides. Once built, neither the landscape nor the environment will ever be restored, especially when account is taken of the concrete foundations of the turbines and all the associated infrastructure for roads and connection to the grid. Although the planning permission may last for a limited period of, say, 30 or 40 years, complete restoration will never be economically viable and it has never been required as a condition of planning permission.
The policy of the Scottish Government needs to be changed to manage development as a whole, rather than piecemeal as at present, so that sufficient account is taken of the cumulative effect of development.
The rules applicable to wind farm developments need to be updated to take account of advances in technology which have resulted in a new generation of giant turbines, particularly the visual impact, lighting and noise.
Although the rules require local communities to be consulted about proposed developments, objections not strictly tied to planning criteria are treated as irrelevant and disregarded. The rules need to be changed so that the views of local communities, however general, are not only given weight but decisive weight, as in England.
This is particularly important where, as is often the case, the developers are foreign-owned with the result that the profits end up abroad and the landowners concerned are absentees who care little, if at all, for the local community.
The economy of large parts of Scotland is dependent on tourism. Wind farms kill tourism and with it kill the prospects for jobs, including those for young people. This is particularly true of Dumfries & Galloway.
Finally, there is no scheme for compensating those whose homes are blighted by developments. There needs to be one. Payments for community purposes, commonly far in excess of any conceivable community need, might well as a start be redirected to compensating individuals.