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Protesters fight wind farms on grounds of health

AN action group is encouraging people who believe wind farms have had a negative impact on their health to pursue legal action on the grounds that Scottish ministers failed to protect them.

Pressure group Winds for Justice, supported by former Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson, has been set up to back legal bids against wind farms, including those in the planning stages, which are thought to pose a threat to public health.

Mr Stevenson believes that dozens of schemes have been approved in breach of the Aarhus Convention, a European law stipulating the public has a right to live in a healthy environment.

Some scientific studies have suggested that low-level noise - infrasound - emitted by the giant turbines can deprive people living nearby of sleep.

However, the Scottish Government insists that there is no direct evidence of a "causal link" to ill health from wind farms.

Andrew Vivers, a former Army captain, who lives close to the Ark Hill wind farm in Angus, believes his health has deteriorated in recent years because of wind turbines.

Despite this Mr Vivers fears that many, like him, will be unable to afford to take legal action.

He said: "There are many ways in which health can suffer, but people do not automatically associate it with the wind farms.

"They can lead to high blood pressure and affect the immune system too, lowering it and making people more susceptible to other conditions.

"I was getting headaches and dizziness, and I had sleep deprivation, too."

A government spokesman said that a review of international research had found "no clear evidence of a causal link between the operation of wind turbines and adverse health effects.

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