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04-May-11, 08:32
Balloon to go up over controversial windfarm scheme

CAITHNESS windfarm protesters are to underline their opposition with an aerial stunt.
They have arranged for a large balloon to fly over the site for a 30 turbines development at Spittal Hill near Halkirk.
The novel protest is being staged tomorrow, to coincide with a site visit by the various interested parties at a public local inquiry, into the 75.5MW scheme. John Campbell QC, for Spittal Windfarm Opposition, gave notice of the novel, balloon flight at the opening day of the inquiry, at Halkirk, yesterday.
He told the inquiry: “The purpose of it, is to demonstrate the height of the upper tip of the turbine blades. I’ve found that this gives a broad indication to people, of the height of these structures.” The protest group has received permission for the demonstration, from the Civil Aviation Authorithy.
Not everyone was in agreement, however. David Hardy, who represents the developers, Spittal Hill Windfarm, took the opposite view. He said: “We think it would be unhelpful and unrepresentative but we’ve no problem with a third party flying a blimp if they wish.”
Scottish Government Reporter Trevor Croft believes that those observing the balloon would have to show commonsense in interpreting the flight of the blimp. He made clear that he would not be referring to it, when he compiles his report of the evidence heard at the inquiry.
About 50 members of the public attended the hearing when it opened in Hallkirk’s Ross Institute.