Under the terms of the Belltown Power proposal to deface the Newlands Hill ridge with 17 monster turbines, the villages of Gifford and Garvald will benefit to the tune of £561,000 per annum.

The combined population of the villages is about 2,000.

This works out at a benefit of about £300 per village resident per annum; over the 40-year life of the turbines, and assuming that this is inflation adjusted, this comes to a capital sum equivalent to £42 million.

A mind-blowing sum and a difficult one to refuse.

Of course, Belltown have made that calculation and they know that the communities of Garvald and Gifford – led by their community councils – are likely to have to support these “incentives”, however hard they shut their eyes and hold their nose!

Consider a more equitable approach. One that addresses the concerns of the whole of East Lothian and not just two small communities.

The 17 turbines will be seen from up to 55 miles away.

They will be visible not just from residents’ front rooms but to walkers, cyclists and drivers.

They will be visible one way or another to just about everyone who lives and works in East Lothian (about 55,000), never mind the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit us annually.

Paying £42 million for 2,000 hand-picked residents is not an “incentive”, it is an inducement.

East Lothian is a beautiful county. Newlands Hill is a stunning ridge.

We worry that the residents of East Lothian have not woken up to the possible loss of this jewel.

If Belltown Power gets their way, we shall all wake up one day and say, “Why on earth did we allow this to happen?” By which time it will be too late.

We passionately believe that Newlands Hill is the wrong place to site 17 turbines more than twice the height of Big Ben.

We say simply that no amount of money can compensate the residents of East Lothian for the loss of this magical skyline. Newlands Hill should remain a natural beauty spot. It should not, under any circumstances, be traded in for 17 industrial behemoths.

If you want to know more about our LammermuirsSOS campaign to Save our Skyline, please look us up on Facebook.

In the coming weeks, we will be visiting the towns and villages of East Lothian asking you to help us save Newlands Hill from permanent mutilation.

Mark Mepham, Leehouses; Eric Thomson, Long Yester; Mike Traynor, Humbie; Caro Straker, Garvald; Euan Harper, Haddington; Andrew Hamilton, Gifford