Letters: Now Midlothian faces a new wind farm battle

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In Midlothian we have been fighting for eight and a half years to protect the Midlothian plain from wind farm development.

Government reporters, councillors, planners and the public have all agreed this is not the place for a wind farm .

The public have been outstanding in objecting to applications throughout this time with the developers having just a handful of supporters.

An application for nine turbines at Mount Lothian, which was withdrawn last year, the afternoon before a presentation by Penicuik Environment Protection Association to councillors, has been re-submitted.

Last time over 1000 objections were submitted to the council, with 67 in support. These objections are not to be allowed for the new application and we will have to start all over again alerting the public to this new threat.

There is nothing to stop speculative re-applications being submitted time and time again. The easiest way to get rid of a thousand objections is to withdraw the application and put it back in again. Is this the way we want our country to be run?

Something has gone badly wrong when two landowners, Sir Robert Clerk and Lord Harry Dalmeny, and two developers, Wind Prospect and EDF Energy, can cause such unnecessary expense to council taxpayers, not to mention the work, upset and expense to the campaigners who have preserved this wonderful vista for locals, Edinburgh residents and tourists alike through so many years.

Celia Hobbs , Peebles Road, Penicuik, Midlothian

New EU fuel directive is wrong shade of green

A new ‘green’ petrol will soon be introduced to the UK because of EU regulations.

This new eco-fuel, E10, contains 10 per cent bio-ethanol, compared with up to 5 per cent in the E5 currently on sale.

However, tests by What Car? show the E10 unleaded petrol can make cars up to 11.3 per cent less efficient, increase CO2 tailpipe emissions and could ruin the engines of older vehicles.

The EU directive dictates that major suppliers must add environmentally friendly alternatives to petrol, so they will add bio-ethanol, made from corn, sugar cane and rapeseed.

Foreign countries chop down trees and burn shrub-land to grow these crops. How green is this?

The EU Renewable Energy Directive demands cuts in greenhouse gas emissions because the EU claims these cause global warming. Yet another stupid ruling from the EU.

Another was low-energy bulbs, containing poisonous mercury, which end up in landfill and then pollute the area and watercourses.

Clark Cross 138 Springfield Road Linlithgow

Cameron comes late to independence debate

The latest entry by Prime Minister Cameron into the independence debate smacked more than a little of desperation.

Mr Cameron and the rest of the London political class have left it awfully late to start paying attention now. With just over six months to go until the referendum, the rest of the United Kingdom is like a husband whose wife has been threatening divorce for three decades – but waits till she’s got a suitcase in her hand and her coat on before looking up from the couch to say: “Can’t we talk about this?”

The Prime Minister’s attempt to try to energise the rest of the UK to beg Scots not to leave has fallen largely on unbothered shoulders. Those in the rest of the UK largely do not care if Scotland becomes independent or not. It is not a priority and they certainly are not going to die in the metaphorical ditch to keep Scotland in the UK.

Rory Stewart, MP for an English constituency is campaigning to bring 100,000 people from the rest of the UK to hold “hands across the border”. The fact that he is proposing to do this along the length of Hadrian’s Wall, meaning that Englishman will be effectively talking to Englishman has largely been lost and is a campaign that through apathy will fall flat on its face.

Since 1979 Britain has been breaking away from what used to be called the postwar settlement and led by an overdominant London and south-east, British politics has been tugged rightward.

The process was begun by Margaret Thatcher, but Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did little to stop it and in some cases accelerated it. And Scotland wants no part of it.

While UK politics can seem like a Dutch auction between the Conservatives and UKIP over who can bash Europe, repel immigrants or slash welfare with most vigour, Scottish politics is usually a competition for the terrain of the centre-left.

It is not that the Scots are leaving Britain – it is that Britain has left the Scots.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

HS2 rail link is a long way from Scotland

I read with some confusion Peter Woodward’s comment (News, February 11) on the benefits of Westminster’s HS2 rail extension. Unless Mr Woodward knows something we don’t, the HS2 line won’t go anywhere near Scotland. Regardless, he still has the audacity to sell us the case for the Scottish taxpayer contributing hundreds of millions towards this project. Discussions may be pencilled in between Holyrood and Westminster (instigated by Holyrood) but even if, and it’s a big IF, the line reaches Scotland it won’t be in our lifetimes.

Seán Ó Dobhailen-Osborne , Dunfermline