Are we sure we are really ready to lose the joy of our coastline?
Having visited the northern Netherlands, the German coast and East Denmark some years ago, I thought a few wee turbines twinkling away in the distance on a clear bright day should not be a big problem. Then I realised that all those countries have fairly flat topographies - whereas we have considerable elevations within a few miles of the coastline and we can see the Beatrice oil platforms only a few miles off Helmsdale on a reasonably clear day.
So the proposals to site a considerable number of these structures in the Moray Firth will affect our outlook in all senses. There are to be forests of these structures, churning away between Troup Head and Lossiemouth - and not all 20 miles out to sea. How many of us are aware that the current proposals can mean they may be as little as 2,000 metres from the beach?
Or could this be why Banff and Macduff Community Trust and others are trying to erect as many turbines as they can manage all over the hinterland behind Banff? There may well be a surge of opposition once people along the coast wake up to what's likely to be coming their way, and soon, and enough hotels, B&Bs and caravan sites realise their attractiveness is about to be reduced when they become no different from other industrialised landscapes around Britain. True, there may be some take-up of beds in winter for construction and maintenance, as well as increased trade in Fraserburgh and Macduff harbours as they become like the oil yards of Aberdeen. Anyone who has seen the corner of Spain, just west of Gibraltar at the mouth of the Mediterranean, knows the likely outcome ...and it's a fairly desperate mess.
Is anyone doing a survey of our many repeat visitors with young families and asking what they think the effects may be and the likelihood of them wanting to return.
I haven't heard our great leader 'join up all the dots' yet in his somewhat grandiose energy pronouncements. While understanding there's room for development and discovery, I hope he will be able fill in the missing details for us in a coherent strategy fairly soon. - Yours etc,