Letter - Don’t let Tolsta energy development debate damage the community

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Dear Editor

I write regarding the recent coverage of the Druim Leathann windfarm project in your headline and letters pages. Myself and my family live in Tolsta and have made good friends here. I worry that the headlines of ‘Rage’ and the viewpoints being expressed will ultimately harm Tolsta and that saddens me.

I shall try to avoid the windfarm debate itself, though we have a croft and are supporters of the project. I want instead to address the distrust and ill feeling which is being fomented around the debate.

Tolsta is a small village and relatively isolated, being at the end of the road, we even have our own ‘Bridge to Nowhere’. We need a strong community and for people to be able to trust and respect one another. Our school is a fantastic place and well loved. Our village hall is regularly used and our Youth Club is thriving. Our churches are well attended and respected throughout the community. Our beaches are fantastic and well worth a visit. We have a community development company, a Community shop and a Polytunnel. And, at the entrance to the village we have a Community wind turbine which provides funds for the village.

When I moved here three years ago, I recognised the wealth of things Tolsta has to offer and I have grown to love them all. I want to see all these things nurtured and improved. I want to help where I can, and I want others to feel valued and empowered to help also.

This is the time when the residents of Tolsta, both supportive of and in opposition to the project, should come together. We need to discuss this project in terms of the risks and benefits it offers. We need to decide, as a community, how best to proceed. We need to recognise that it is better for us to talk than it is to accuse others of failing to communicate.

Above all, we need to understand and respect the opinions of others. I have lost many arguments in my life and have grown to understand that losing is less important than learning.

Then, as a community, we can start working to address the other issues facing Tolsta. Please, everyone, don’t let this damage our community.

Gavin Minion

North Tolsta