The California proposal, near Creetown and overlooking Wigtown bay, was submited directy to the DPEA for decision becasue the Council was unable to process it withn the statutory time allowed. The appointed Scottish Government Reporter recently held an accompanied site visit where dozens of people turned up!  Well done to Save Wigtown Bay for organising this level of interest.

 

The DPEA website lists a target date of 16th June for a decision – though these dates can be very unreliable. For example there is still no news on Mochrum Fell which was due at the end of March and we remeber that the publication of the Barcloy Hill appeal decision was some 8 months late.

 

The California proposal is of extraordinary interest not only because, as many believe, it is inappropriately sited – but also, because of its proposed position, it would be seen from many miles away – particularly down the length of the Wigtown peninsula.

 

 

Loch Urr 

 

It would appear that the plans for 26 x 127.5m turbines at Loch Urr have been withdrawn by E.ON.

 

TW312 have seen a letter from SP (Scottish Power) Energy Network which states that:-

 

“SP Transmission Plc received notice from National Grid on 18th January 2016 to confirm that E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Developments Limited have decided to terminate the agreement to connect Loch Urr wind farm. As such, I can confirm that progression of this project by SP Transmission Plc will cease immediately. No overhead line or any other form of connection is now proposed to connect Loch Urr wind farm to the grid.”

 

No information has been forthcoming from E.ON and we do not know of any local communities that have been contacted by them, despite informing the National Grid of their plans over 6 weeks ago.

 
California – near Creetown

 

7 x 110m turbines.

 

A Reporter (Trevor Croft) has now been assigned to decide this appeal and the target date for decision is listed as 21stApril 2016.

 

D & G council have released their report on the proposal and have raised objections on landscape and visual impact grounds, as well as effects on local archaeology.  

Here are a few extracts from the report:-

 

“It is asserted that the proposal would fail to respect the special qualities of the area [Galloway Hills RSA], and that the landscape character and scenic interest for which the area has been designated would be significantly adversely affected by the proposal.”

 

“Secondly, it is considered that the proposed development would also give rise to significant detrimental impacts on the local and wider landscape character, scenic interests, and visual amenity
of the Wigtown Bay area and the eastern/central Machars.”

 

“The proposal fails to take account of guidance contained within the DGWLCS. It is not considered that the host landscape is capable of accommodating the development without giving rise to significant detrimental impact to both landscape character and visual amenity. The design and scale of the proposal is not considered appropriate to the scale and character of its setting, and would not respect the main features of the site and the wider environment.”

 

“the proposal would give rise to significant adverse effects on the setting of a range nearby archaeological sites and features, namely the scheduled ancient monuments at Claughreid, stone circle 600m NW of (Reference SM1014), Standing Stone of Bagbie, standing stone (Reference SM1001), Bagbie, cairn & stone setting 1200m NNE of (Reference SM1000), and Billy Diamond’s Bridge, stone circle 300m SSE of Glenquicken (Reference SM1023), Kirkmabreck Church and Burial Ground (Category B Listed Building, Reference LB13142), and the undesignated burnt mound on the Carsluith Burn adjacent to the site.”

 

Richard Arkless, the SNP MSP, has objected to the California appeal and condemned the potential damaging consequences it could have on the local area, especially Wigtown.  Though he has previously supported wind development he called this proposal "a step too far". 

 

TW312 have been asked to help local people fight the Mochrum Fell wind farm appeal and we have agreed to send out their request.  Please help if you can!

 

 "After a spectacular victory when the Dumfries & Galloway Council Planning Committee unanimously refused the Mochrum Fell wind farm application on landscape, visual amenity, scale and cumulative issue grounds, the developers chose the last day of their 3 month period allowed to lodge an appeal with the DPEA citing a lack of Policy References in the Decision Notice.
 

Objectors had just 14 days to submit a further response and we are very grateful to all of you who did so. The next step is the publicising of the appellants late revised Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment report (CLVIA) which has been advertised locally and in the Edinburgh Gazette.
 
We now have 28 days –until Friday 27/11/2015 – to make further comments on the revised CLVIA to the DPEA. We hope as many as possible will respond to this – it does not need a lengthy letter, just a quick email to say your previous objection still stands or if you haven't objected previously that you would like to object to the proposal.  Please feel free to add more points to the draft comments below.
 
We have come so far together and we must protect this hard won victory, if not, it will be open season within 10km of Mochrum Fell.   Currently there are 10 proposals (including Loch Urr) at various stages of construction, planning or scoping, making a total of 157 wind turbines potentially overwhelming this beautiful landscape. 

Please help make this a lasting victory and send a clear message to the developers – enough is enough!
 
A sincere thank you to you all.

 

_________________________________________________________
 
Sample DPEA responses are below if you wish to use them.
 
Use the first one if you have objected previously and the second one, if you have not previously objected but would like to put in an objection now.
                                                 
Fiona.Manson@gov.scot
 
Reference  PPA-170-2102 
 
Mochrum Fell Wind Farm Appeal
 
I would like to confirm that my previous objection to this application still stands firm following the updated Landscape report. Please dismiss this appeal and refuse the application.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Name
Address
Date

 
________________________________________________________________
 
Fiona.Manson@gov.scot
 
Reference  PPA-170-2102  
 
Mochrum Fell Wind Farm Appeal
 
Following the advertisement of the updated Landscape information for the Mochrum Fell wind farm application, I would like to strongly object to this application due to the serious landscape impacts, cumulative issues and the fact that turbines of this size would overpower the landscape and be visible from long distances away. 
 
In addition, the infrastructure of giant substations and upgraded pylons to transport this electricity would be totally unacceptable.
 
Please dismiss this appeal and refuse planning permission for the proposed development.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Name
Address
Date

 

________________________________________________________________

 

For posted responses – please send to :-
 
The Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA)
4 The Courtyard
Callendar Business Park
Callendar Road
Falkirk
FK1 1XR

 

________________________________________________________________

 

Please remember to quote Reference PPA-170-2102 in all correspondence.

 

Documents relating to the appela can be viewed by clicking here

 

 

After the fantastic news earlier in the month that the Barcloy Hill Appeal was refused by the Scottish Government Reporter, we are brought back down to earth with the latest developments from Banks Renewables in relation to their Knockendurrick proposal.

 

The current application for 7 x 132m turbines on Irelandton Moor, near Twynholm, has an agreed decision date for the end of October.  But it would appear that Banks have little faith in their submitted Environmental Statement, which argues that the proposal conforms to the Local Development Plan (LDP).

 

Banks will be submitting an amendment to their plans which include a reduction in the height of the turbines (6 x 115m & 1 x 100m) and moving their locations further to the east.  We have to wait for the exact details to be presented to council before the public can submit further comments.

 

These changes are supposedly due to further ‘community consultation’ but TW312 have been unable (so far) to discover any ‘community consultation’ as no public meetings, community council meetings, or landscape impact discussions have been conducted according to the council and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The development has also been renamed the Knockendurrick Community wind farm and the potential stake for community ownership has been increased from 5 to 10%.  The question is, does a 10% stake in the wind farm entitle it to be called ‘community’?

 

The PR machine at Banks is certainly doing the business with carefully crafted statements that convey that their ‘development with care’ philosophy is to the fore when the reality is something totally different.  With Banks it seems that it's more than turbines that 'spin'!

 

We have been a little late in reporting this important news – perhaps too busy celebrating. However, finally, after 4 missed decision target dates we know the outcome of the Barcloy Hill wind farm appeal.

 

It's good news for local residents with the Reporter dismissing the appeal.

 

The Reporter supported the council's and SNH's assessments and guidance from the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study (DGWLCS), including that:-

 

  • the local landscape is medium in scale with some small scale features which do not have the capacity to absorb large turbines.  This was in contrast to the developer's assertion that the landscape scale was medium-large.

  • Scottish Natural Heritage's (SNH) guidance on siting wind farms, which identifies turbines should be of minor vertical scale in relation to key landscape features, (ideally no more than one third the height) should be considered. She highlighted how the turbines would be almost the same height as the ridge which would have the effect of "minimising the height of the ridge" and "make it look smaller".

 

  • the "development would have a detrimental impact on Bengairn both in terms of how it would be viewed from outwith the NSA and also on the views available from its summit." thus conflicting with local policy NE1.

 

  • there would be a detrimental impact on the nearby Regional Scenic Area and significant visual impacts for several residents close to the site.

 

  • the Reporter also noted that the developer included no assesment of the impact on resdential amenity in their submission

 

The Reporter did NOT agree with the developer's assessment that the Barcloy ridge was not a particularly prominent feature and highlighted "that the photomontages in the Environmental Statement are not a true representation of the prominence of Barcloy hill as it is seen in real life from various viewpoints."

 

The conclusion was that "the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would justify granting planning permission".

Barcloy mast

After 5 years of stress fighting this proposal, there is relief for many in the area. It was the appearance of the intital 80 metre met mast on Barcloy Hill (May 2010) that first alerted local residents to the potential invasion of very large turbines in this scenic area and to the formation of Turbine Watch 312. We will keep going and will continue to actively oppose windfarm proposals wherever, in the OS 312 area, we think they are inappropriate.
 
Thank you to all those who supported us in this campaign!

 

This is the title of a recent scientific paper published jointly by the Scientific Alliance and the Adam Smith Institute and authored by Dr. Capell Aris, which offers some calculated insight into the contribution of wind power to the UK's energy requirements. The study analyses wind data collected at half-hourly intervals from 22 sites in the UK over a period of nine years, with further measurements from 21 sites in Northern Europe and Ireland. This allows the hour-by-hour output of a fleet of wind turbines of nominal 10GW capacity to be modelled.

 

The full paper is a demanding read but if you want to check it out in full click here.

 

Fortunately there's a fairly readable initial 'Summary' and an accessible 'Conclusions' section at the end and both the Scientific Alliance and Adam Smith Institute offer précis…..

 

The results are revealing, although not surprising to anyone who has taken time to look at actual outputs over different days. Power output is below 20% of nominal capacity for over 20 weeks of the year, and below 10% for nine weeks. The UK system produces 80% or more of its rated output for just 163 hours a year, or less than a week. Rapid swings in output mean that conventional plant must be left idling and ramped up at a moment’s notice.

For anyone who thinks that new wind turbine arrays will replace old coal and gas stations as they close down, the details of this study will be a rude awakening. New gas plants are being built to provide continuity of supply and, in simple terms, there must be conventional stations available to meet the entire capacity of the wind fleet to cope with calm days, particularly at times of high demand in winter.

Another argument often put forward in favour of wind energy is that the wind is always blowing somewhere, so having many turbines spread out over a wide area will to some extent smooth the output. This turns out not to be true; the ‘guaranteed’ output is only about 2% of the nominal rating, or 200MW instead of 10GW. Installing a wider grid, such as the proposed Europe-wide ‘super grid’ would make little difference.

The only way wind and solar power would be able to make more than a modest contribution to energy supplies and emissions reduction is when affordable energy storage is available on a massive scale, but this is still some way over the horizon.

The Scientific Alliance

The UK wind debate assumes that wind farms operate at roughly their average output most of the time. According to Dr. Capell Aris’ new paper produced in concert with the Scientific Alliance this is not true. Power comes only extremely intermittently and variably and there are long periods of negligible efficiency in the long winter months when power is most needed. A 10GW wind fleet would need approximately 9.5GW of fossil capacity to guarantee its output.

Adam Smith Institute

Of course we could always settle for an energy supply network where there's no electricty for hours, days or even weeks on end.

 

When we express our opposition to the local siting of large turbines it is not uncommon for pro-wind advocates to trot out the hackneyed accusation of 'NIMBY"!

 

Of course anyone who finds themselves directly affected by wind farm proposals will have done a little more research than most and will know about the invasive effects turbines can have on the health and wellbeing of those living nearby. This is not trivial and neither is it a gentile form of aesthetic 'nimbyism'. The validated evidence of harm is growing – and it is, of course, unlikely that you will hear the Scottish Government, wind farm developers, land owners or even local Environmental Health officers talking about it! (Hmmm – why?)

 

If you are interested or concerned you might like to look at this presentation.

 

Stop These Things have developed this really interesting timeline. It sets out a chronology of what the wind industry knew (and when); what the wind industry did in response to this knowledge and how the wind industry is still manouevering  to ensure that this knowledge is marginalised in the interests of minimising opposition to the proliferation of large turbines. Meanwhile it is increasingly apparent that turbines can have significant, negative effects on the health and well-being of people living next door to wind farms. Click here to see the presentation.

 

So when someone wants to accuse you of being a climate change skeptik, a middle class aesthete, a privileged country dweller or a NIMBY – tell them about the validated harmful effects on people who live near wind farms and who are seen as irritants to be overcome by the Government and the industry.

 

Here's some information provided by the Save Wigtown Bay group….

 

On the evening of 20th February 2015, Ecotricity published the full planning application documents on its website:  

 
CLICK HERE to see the documents (you'll need to scroll down)
 
Sections 4 , 5 and 7 of the Planning Statement are of particular interest.  
 
This is where some of the outrageous statements are about significant adverse impacts on the landscape and historic environment being 'reversible' (after building and operating it for 25 years and then decommissioning!
 
As you know, it does not fit with guidance in the DGWLCS either which indicates turbines above 50m are unsuited to this landscape. 
 
This particular planning application is quite simply preposterous and we must do everything we can to stop this idiotic turbine site from ruining the very heart and soul of Bonnie Galloway. 
 
Official objections will be able to be made once Dumfries and Galloway Council validate the application.  We expect this to happen w/c 23rd February 2015.
 
In the meantime, we recommend you familiarise yourself with the documents and are ready to respond appropriately – with individual emails and letters – when the time is right. 

 

The Chapman's Howe Appeal decision finally came through on 12th January and it was great news for everyone who submitted an objection.

 

The Reporter supported the guidance in the Council's Landscape Capacity Study and refused the appeal on grounds of the landscape and visual impact and the significant adverse effect on some local residents.

 

Here are a few of the Reporter's comments:-

 

"Overall, I regard this as a medium scale landscape. I do not agree with the appellant that it should be classed as medium-large."

"The openness of the site itself is contained within a landscape that has many smaller-scale elements, and is set against the backdrop of Barcloy Ridge (264 metres ADD, roughly 140 metres above the site) and the higher hills of Bentudor (274 metres) and Bengairn (391 metres). The proposed 100 metre turbines would appear large in relation to the existing landscape features."

"The visualisation from VP2 shows how they would dwarf the houses and trees in the immediately surrounding area as seen from the south. Viewed from the west, the blade tips at a height of over 210 metres ADD would seem to dominate Barcloy Ridge,"

"I consider that the turbines would become a dominant element in the landscape within 4-5 kilometres of the site. They would appear out of scale with other landscape features including the hills of Barcloy, Bentudor and Bengairn."

"SNH considers that the impact on the view from Bengairn would be adverse and Significant, and that this is of particular concern given the significance of this viewpoint as a landmark feature within the East Stewartry Coast National Scenic Area.  I agree that the proposed development would appreciably diminish the quality of the views from Bengairn and the neighbouring hills".

"These [5] properties are sited at ranges between 634 metres and 890 metres from the nearest turbine. At this proximity, I consider the effect of 100 metre high turbines would be overbearing and would significantly reduce the attractiveness of these properties as places to live."

 

There are plenty of relieved people around the Whinnieliggate/Nether Linkins area today who would like to thank everyone who has supported them over the past two and a half years in this fight! 

smiley

 

Barcloy Hill
 
The Barcloy Hill decision was expected on the 9th January, but no decision was posted.  Instead, a letter asking NATS to clarify their position in relation to an outstanding objection was listed on the website.

 

The target date for a decision was amended to the 6th March 2015.

 

Let us hope, in light of the Chapman's Howe decision, that the outcome is the same.

 

 

Applications recently submitted
 
 
Loch Urr 

An application has been submitted by E-on to the Scottish Government for an 83MW wind farm between Corsock and Moniaive, with 26 turbines up to 127.5m. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo – Courtesy of Walter Baxter
 

If you would like more information on the proposal please visit www.savelochurr.com
 
 
Spango
RSPB Scotland spokesman, Chris Rollie, said:

"Spango (Mid Rig) wind farm is a proposal for 14 turbines to be built on an area of moorland 2 and a half miles north of Sanquhar, which will tower 145 m above the ground. The site is part of the Muirkirk and north Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area (SPA) and is internationally important for threatened wildlife, such as Hen Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Short-eared Owl and European Golden Plover."

 “We examine individual wind farm proposals very carefully and most pose no serious threat to birds or other wildlife. We are objecting to Spango (Mid Rig) because we believe the potential for harm is unacceptable and any turbines at the site would specifically threaten birds such as Hen Harriers, already under pressure from illegal persecution and habitat [degradation].

“We are extremely concerned about the proposals for this wind farm, as we would be about any threat to this particular site. The wind farm would be located within an area that is truly spectacular for wildlife and an SPA, one of the highest environmental designations in Europe."        
 

Click here for the full article
 
 
Benbrack (still open for objections until 25th January)

 

E-on have also submitted plans for an 18 turbine wind farm (over 50MW) north-east of Carsphairn.  
 

Objections can be emailed to representations@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
 
 
Events
 
Ecotricity are holding two public exhibitions to discuss their proposal for a 7 turbine wind 'park' called California near Carsluith.

 

Carsluith Village Hall
Wednesday 14th Jan 10am – 8pm

 

Wigtown County Buildings, Main hall
Thursday 15th Jan 10am – 8pm
 

Please visit  Save Wigtown Bay for more information (NB There is a button in the top left corner with a drop down menu!)
 

A scoping application has been submitted for 2 x 78m turbines close to the California site, at Mark Farm. 

 
Decisions
 
Culdoach  –  2 x 48m turbines were refused at council due to landscape and visual impacts and NATS objection.
 
At the same meeting in December, Twentyshilling Hill was approved against planners advice.  Planners stressed this proposal was against guidance in the Landscape Capacity Study.  2 community councils supported the development though and councillors voted 9-5 to approve it.  This sets a dangerous precedent in that area now. 
 
Community Windpower have submitted a screening request for an extra 6 turbines to their wind farm approved in the summer (Sanquhar).
 

 

IMG_1693thumb

At the October 14, 2014 Brown County Board of Health meeting, a motion was unanimously approved declaring the Shirley Wind turbines a "Human Health Hazard".  The text of the unanimously approved motion reads:

 

"To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health."

 

Visit BBCRWE wesbite for more info.

Please send any expressions of support and, if applicable, your expereinces to:  BOHsupport@bccrwe.com   

 

It's nearly Christmas and along with shopping and planning festivities it also signals frantic activity on the wind farm front!
 
Two applications, Loch Urr and Benbrack, have been submitted to the Scottish Government for wind farms over 50MW.  An application for 9 turbines at Gass Farm has been submitted to council and just as the council were due to make a decision on Larbrax, the developer withdrew the application.
 
TW312 have also released their latest figures on the status of wind farms across Dumfries and Galloway.  See further down for the shocking figures or click here 
 
 

Update on Stewartry wind farms
 
Barcloy Hill & Chapman's Howe 
 
REG Windpower, the developer of Chapman's Howe, wrote to the Reporter to request that one Reporter should decide both the Chapman's Howe and Barcloy Hill appeals.  In one way this would have made sense as the two sites are adjacent to each other.  RES's response indicated they were not happy with the suggestion and requested that they were decided separately.  The Reporters have decided that the two proposals will be decided separately.

The Chapman's Howe decision is due by 23rd December 2014 and Barcloy Hill by 9th Jan 2015.
 
Knockendurrick 

Banks have requested an extension for the determination date of the Knockendurrick application until 31st May 2015.  No explanation is offered to the public as to the reasons why but the council have agreed to the request.
 

Loch Urr 

An application has been submitted by E-on to the Scottish Government for an 83MW wind farm between Corsock and Moniaive, with 26 turbines up to 127.5m. 
 
The closing date for objections is 12th January 2015.  
 
 If you would like more information on the proposal please visit www.savelochurr.com
 
If you would like to object to the proposal, please go to http://scotlandagainstspin.org/Objections/loch-urr/  and complete the objection form.
 
 
Benbrack

E-on have also submitted plans for an 18 turbine wind farm (over 50MW) north-east of Carsphairn.  Closing date for comment is 12th January 2015
 
 
California wind farm, near Creetown
 
Public Meeting

Wigtown County Buildings
Tuesday 16th December 2014
7.30 – 8.30pm

Refreshments provided
 
"Save Wigtown Bay were initially successful in getting the met mast refused by Dumfries and Galloway's Planning Applications Committee back in August. 

Their comments were: 

“The proposal would result in a loss of amenity and have a detrimental visual impact on the landscape character of the Galloway Hills Regional Scenic Area”.  

At the PAC meeting, a petition with over 250 signatures of people from The Machars objecting to the met mast was tabled.  However, Ecotricity have appealed directly to the Scottish Government (DPEA).  We subsequently, tabled another 180 signatures to the DPEA. (not one was in favour of the mast)  and a decision will be made on the mast around the 1st January 2015.
Ecotricity have now submitted a Proposal of Application Notice for California, hence our meeting."
 
If you care about this area and don't want to see this landscape ruined by wind farm development please come along to the meeting!
 
More details at http://www.savewigtownbay.com/

silent night 
 
Further afield
 
Gass Farm, Glenluce

Willowind (Gass) Ltd have submitted an application to the council for 9 x 126.5m turbines.  With Artfield Fell, Artfield Fell ext, Glenchamber and Carscreugh already in the immediate vicinity there will be a significant cumulative impact in this area.
 
A planning application for 1 x 36.6m turbine at Longforth Farm, Glenluce has been submitted.
 
Larbrax  

(8 x 100m near Killantringan beach) was due to be decided at Planning Application Committee  on Wed 27th Nov but was temporarily withdrawn by the developer at the eleventh hour.

 
 

Consultation on public engagement
 
The Scottish Government have agreed to produce good practice guidance in relation to public engagement  on proposals for wind turbines.  This is in response to Aileen Jackson’s Petition to change the 20m neighbour notification limit.

 

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/turbineneighbournotification
 
The public consultation on the draft guidance ends on 15 December 2014, and the main consultation page and associated documents are available to view online at www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations
 
If you would like to submit a response to the consultation, please complete the Respondent Information Form (Annex D within the document) and send this by email to: 

PE1469Consultation@scotland.gsi.gov.uk by 15th December.
 
Or by post to:
 
Michael Westwater
Planning & Architecture Division
Scottish Government
Area 2-H
Victoria Quay
EDINBURGH
EH6 6QQ
 
 

November 2014 figures for turbine numbers in Dumfries and Galloway
 

Status

No of wind farms

No of turbines

Capacity output

 

 

 

 

Operational

12

212

334.5

Offshore

  1

  60

180

 

 

 

 

Total (operational)

13

272

514.5

 

 

 

 

Consented

15

324

913.6

 

 

 

 

Total (op & con)

28

596

1,428.1

 

 

 

 

Awaiting decision

20

257

719.7

 

 

 

 

Total

48

853

2,147.8

 

 

 

 

Scoping stage

35

530+

1,450+

 

 

 

 

Grand Total

83

1,383

3,597.8

 

 

 

 

Abandoned schemes

2 – Blackmyre Moor & Mark Farm, Creetown

Refusals at appeal

7

54

148.3

Refusals work out at just 10% of the operational & consented number of turbines and capacity!

For more details on individual developments click here

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

FROM THE TW312 TEAM

Visit us on Facebook

Barcloy Hill 

 

This proposal for 5 x 115m turbines was unanimously refused by council last month on landscape and visual impacts and residential impact grounds.  However, comments by the developer, RES UK, which persistently imply that the lack of objection by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to this development, somehow equates to no concerns, could not be left unchallenged. 

 

Project manager John Appleton said: “RES is disappointed with the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse Barcloy Hill Wind Farm. The findings of the council’s landscape officer are at odds with the assessment RES has undertaken and more importantly Scottish Natural Heritage does not object to the project."   (Daily Record 11 July)

 

“Whilst Dumfries and Galloway Council raised objections on the grounds of effects on landscape character and visual amenity, this position is not supported by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)."  (RES website)

 

According to the BBC website, RES UK, "expressed its disappointment at the decision saying that the objections due to the effect on the landscape had not been shared by Scottish Natural Heritage."

 

This is not an isolated incident but also happens with other developers across the whole of Scotland.

 

Turbine Watch 312, fully supported by GLARE, Save Loch Urr, South West Wind Farm Action Group, Say No to Arriequhillart and Biosphere and Dark Sky Park Protection Ltd, have written to Ian Ross, the new Chair of SNH asking that action is taken to rectify this situation.

 

We are lucky in Dumfries and Galloway that our councillors are fully aware of SNH's approach and know that they need to have regard to their detailed comments and not just their formal position.  (Anyone reading SNH's detailed comments on the Barcloy proposal can be in no doubt as to their views!).

 

Unfortunately, this is not our experience with the wider public and developers can exploit this confusion to undermine the council officers' recommendation and to imply that objectors are mere NIMBYs.

 

Unless the position is clarified, the effect over time could be to erode confidence in the Council's policies, which we strongly support and which need to be consistently applied if we are to end the ongoing uncertainty and strife in this field.

 

We expect wind developers to operate in an open, honest and ethical way, sadly in this instance none of those qualities are apparent.

 

 

Chapman's Howe

 

There is a good possibility that this proposal for 3 x 100m turbines adjacent to the Barcloy Hill site, could be decided at the PAC meeting on Wednesday 24th September.  We will let you know once we have definite confirmation.

 

 

Knockendurrick (Gatehouse of Fleet)

 

Next in line for decision after Chapman's Howe!  Again we will let you know when we have more information.

 

 

California wind park

 

Ecotricity's application for an 80m met mast at Kirkdale Hill is due to be decided at the PAC on the 27th August. 

 

A scoping opinion has now been submitted for 7 x 126m turbines on Kirkdale Hill near Creetown.  Whilst the mast is likely visible from Cairn Holy it would appear only one or possibly two of the turbines would be.  However, this development would be highly visible from across Wigtownshire, sit within a Regional Scenic Area and impact on several sensitive archaeological sites.  We shall be keeping a close eye on this proposal.

 

Several people have already contacted us to ask why this proposed development has been named 'California'. Apparently there is a derelict building on site with that name!

 

 

Auchleand 

 

Community Windpower Ltd have requested an extension to the decision date until the 9th October.

                

 

Larbrax 

 

Is open for comment until 28th August

                                                                                                                              

8 x 100m turbines planned to the north of Portpatrick and Killantringan beach.  This development would be situated near the early section of the Southern Upland Way, in a Regional Scenic Area and, with the North Rhins wind farm, would have significant cumulative impact.

 

If any of you know/visit the area please consider putting in an objection.  For more information please visit the Save Killantringan Viewpoint Facebook page

 

https://www.facebook.com/killantringan

 

 

Clyde extension

 

A further 54 turbines have won approval from the Scottish Government to be added to the 152 already built

 

 

Balgrayhill (nr Lockerbie)

 

No. 4/E/4/0010 –  scoping opinion submitted for 1 x 60.5m turbine

 

 

The Future of Galloway's Landscapes

 

See below for the details of an event that the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS) are holding, with the help of the Galloway Preservation Society, in Gatehouse of Fleet on Saturday, 23rd August.

 

The purpose of the event is to give APRS members the chance to meet each other and discuss the future of the region's landscapes generally, taking account of all the pressures on it such as afforestation, more intensive farming, the pressure to relax controls over rural housing and other forms of renewables, as well as wind.

 

APRS want to show people just how attractive an area it is and how much care must be taken to ensure that it is properly safeguarded and looked after in the future. So long as attendees are happy to respect this overall objective, APRS would welcome as big a turnout as possible.

 

The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS) in association with the Galloway Preservation Society (GPS) are holding an APRS Members Day: The Future of Galloway's Landscapes on Saturday 23rd August at the Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse.

 

All APRS and GPS members, friends and family are most welcome to attend this APRS Members’ Day, which this summer comes to the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area in Galloway.

 

Venue:

Faed Gallery, The Mill on the Fleet, High Street, Gatehouse of Fleet,

 

Time:  
 
10am Coffee
 
10.30 – 1.00 Speakers and discussion on The Future of Galloway Landscapes

1.00 – 2.00 Buffet lunch (see below for charges)
 
2.00 – 4.00 Site Visit to Knocktinkle NSA Viewpoint then to Dromore and Gatehouse Station, 5 miles north-west of Gatehouse, involving optional short walk (maximum 3 miles) on fairly level ground.

 

Booking:

If you would like to attend please book in advance by Monday 18 August, to help us assess catering numbers. The cost is £10 per person, payable on the day, which includes coffee, lunch and a contribution towards room hire. To book or for any queries please email info@ruralscotland.org or ring 0131 225 7012.

June Newsletter

 

In this month's edition

 

Barcloy Hill – date for decision?

Help protect Cairn Holy

Update on Stewartry developments

News from further afield

Local Development Plan update

Community Windpower go for a record

 

 

 

Barcloy Hill

 

It is looking likely that the Barcloy Hill application for 5 x 115m turbines will be decided at the Planning Application Committee (PAC) meeting on THURSDAY 17th JULY. More details will be sent out once we have definite confirmation.

 

Help protect Cairn Holy

 

Plans for an 80m met mast just over 1km from Cairn Holy have been submitted. In 2012 councillors refused permission for a similar sized mast at Blackmyre Moor close by, on the grounds that it would have "a significant adverse impact on the Galloway Hills Regional Scenic Area".

 

The decision was not contested and plans for a wind farm were dropped with the developer saying "Vattenfall has decided not to pursue a development at this site due to concerns raised over the proximity to several Scheduled Monuments and the potential visual impact in the local area ".

 

The Kirkdale Hill mast will be visible from several Scheduled Monuments including Cairn Holy and across the west to Wigtown and Martyr's Stake.

 

 

Below is an objection you can copy and paste if you wish to help protect the area by objecting.

 

Objections must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 27th June

 

Email to pe.wigtown.planning@dumgal.gov.uk.

 

 

Name

Address

 

 

Date

 

 

Application (14/P/2/0209) for an 80m met mast at Kirkdale Hill, Carsluith

 

 

Dear Planning Officer,

 

I wish to register my objection to the above proposal on the following grounds:-

 

 

  • Adverse visual impact on the Galloway Hills Regional Scenic Area and views from the Western side of Wigtown Bay (including from Martyr's Stake) resulting from an increase in man-made visual clutter and cumulative effect with Cambret Hill Masts and turbines at Kirkmabreck and Larg Hill (erected and consented).

 

  • Adverse visual impact on the setting of Scheduled Monuments (Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns, Bagbie Cairn and Stone Circle, the Standing Stone of Bagbie and Glenquicken Moor Stone Circle) and the Listed Building old Kirkmabreck Kirk.

 

  • A local precedent for refusal of a Met Mast (12/P/2/0017) at adjacent Blackmyre Moor was set in May 2012 on the basis "That the proposed mast would have a significant adverse impact on the Galloway Hills Regional Scenic Area".

 

  • Adverse visual impact on Dark Sky Park if visible aviation lighting fitted.

 

  • Safety Risk of aircraft accident  (MOD  low level flying Tactical Training Area).

 

  • The application offers no economic benefit to Dumfries and Galloway but the approval of this mast will signal the intention of yet another wind farm. This will adversely impact on local properties making them, at best difficult to sell and at worst unsaleable, until a final decision is taken on the pending wind farm, all of which can take several years.

 

I hope you consider my comments and refuse this application.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Name

 

 

 

Update on Stewartry developments

 

 

Chapman's Howe – REG Windpower have contacted the Planning Department to say that if the proposal is not decided by council at the PAC meeting on the 25th June, then they will appeal the application directly to the Scottish Government on the grounds of non-determination within the relevant time limit. Planning have replied to say the application will not be on the agenda for decision on that date and that REG are within their rights to appeal.

 

Knockendurrick – The council's Landscape Architect has submitted his report on the landscape and visual impacts of Banks' proposed 7 x 132m turbines near Twynholm and Gatehouse.

 

His report can be read here (dated 13th May 2014)

 

http://eaccess.dumgal.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_DUMF_DCAPR_103687

 

The recommendations are for an objection to be raised on the significant adverse impact on the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area, the local landscape character, nearby residents and key recreational viewpoints.

 

Mochrum Fell – 11 x 126.5m turbines. Currently NATS and MoD have lodged objections to the plans. The council's Landscape Architect has recommended objection on grounds of landscape and visual impacts, particularly on Loch Ken, and cumulative impacts with Blackcraig.

 

SNH have also raised serious concerns on cumulative impacts and the effects on Loch Ken.

 

 

High Barcaple – The 1 x 62m turbine near Ringford was granted planning permission by the Scottish Government Reporter who overturned the council's original refusal. Sadly, this decision permits the tallest turbine in the area now despite the Landscape Capacity Study indicating that turbines of this size in drumlin pastures are unsuitable.

 

Littleton Farm have applied for 3 x 45m turbines but the application will only see a blade length change on the towers that currently operate. It also means the third turbine will now be constructed as grid connection issues appear to have been solved. No decision has been made yet.

 

Culdoach Farm, Tongland – an application for 2 x 48.5m to tip turbines has been submitted and is now closed for comment.

 

Land south of Mollance Farm – the site is where the "Woodlands for sale" sign is on the A75 for those of you who know the locality. The proposal is for a 1 x 44.5m turbine right next to the River Dee. If any of you took a picture of this area earlier this year when the Dee flooded we'd love to see it! No decision has been made but the application is closed for comment.

 

Meikle Culloch – 2 x 35m turbines – the proposal was due for decision at the Planning Application Committee meeting last month. However, councilors agreed to go on a site visit to assess the potential impacts.

 

Knockower Community Wind Farm, Loch Doon (14/E/2/0008) – Sorry, no prizes for those who worked out from the title that the scoping applicants are Community Windpower Ltd! The site is located approximately 1.1km north-east of Loch Doon Castle for up to 16 x 145m turbines. Loch Doon itself is a Site of Scientific Interest (SSI) for Arctic Charr.

 

 

News from further afield

 

 

Newfield Wind Farm, which was for 21 turbines totaling 63MW, has been refused by the Scottish Government on grounds of visual, landscape and cumulative impacts.

 

Solwaybank has been taken to appeal for 15 turbines.

 

Harestanes Ext – D & G council have decided to raise an objection to the proposed additional 7 turbine extension to the 57 currently being constructed.

 

Millriggs Farm, Lockerbie have applied for a scoping opinion for a single 127m turbine.

 

 

Gass Farm – Glenluce

 

An application for a 9 turbine wind farm will be submitted in approximately 12 weeks time as a Pre-Application Notice has been served.

 

The site is close to Artfield Fell, Artfield Fell ext, Carscreugh (all of which are operational) Glenchamber (about to be constructed) and Airies (approved).

 

We will let you know when this application is open for comment.

 

Local Development Plan

 

Dumfries and Galloway council had submitted their draft Local Development Plan to the Scottish Government Reporters for examination. A number of modifications have been 'suggested' by the Reporters.  Please note, when the Reporters say "suggestions" they really mean "recommendations (which are binding on the Council)".

 

The Council’s Planners had  seemingly protected areas of high and medium landscape sensitivity by not including them in ‘Areas of Search’.  The Reporters, however, have suggested that the Planners should revise this approach in line with Scottish Planning Policy which seems to indicate that areas of high and medium landscape sensitivity should be included in ‘Areas of Search’.

 

There are other changes but the full implications are not understood presently and we'll try to find out what they mean.

 

And finally….

 

Community Windpower Ltd have set a new record for D & G by submitting a scoping application (14/E/3/0007) for up to 20 X 160m turbines. It will be an extension to their Sanqhuar Community Wind Farm, 9km South of Sanqhuar.

 

Planning Applications Committee Meetings for 2014

Wed  11th June

Wed   25th June

Thurs  17 July

Wed   27th Aug

Wed   24th Sept

Wed   22nd Oct

Wed   26th Nov

Wed   16th Dec

 

 

 

Chapman’s Howe  (3x100m turbines) previously had an agreed decision date of 20th Jan 2014. We understand that the developer [REG] has asked for more time before the application is considered at the Planning Committee. This has been agreed by the Council.  We will post any information about a new date for the scheme to come before the Planning Applications Committee as soon as we hear it.

 

Loch Hill (11 x 100m turbines) was refused by council last September.  The applicant has now appealed this decision to the Scottish Government.  We wait to see whether local democracy prevails!

 

 

Apologies for the lateness of December’s Newsletter – it has been a very busy couple of months for TW312, so without further ado, let’s update you on the latest developments in the local wind farm world – but not before we have taken this opportunity to wish you a

 

VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
 
 


 

Knockendurrick
 
The opportunity to comment on this proposal is now closed.  It was heart-warming to see that 698 people submitted an objection to this application.  Banks’ people though raised 500 letters of support and several people contacted us to say Banks were knocking on doors even up until the last day.  There are still representations awaiting logging and it is likely to be Wednesday before the final numbers will be known.
 
There appears to be a problem with objection cards posted around 6th to the 9th November as we know some seem to be missing.  If people are concerned that their objection hasn't been received by the planning office please let us know at turbinewatch312@gmail.com
 
The objections already listed on the council’s e-planning website can be viewed here

http://eaccess.dumgal.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_DUMF_DCAPR_103687
 
The MoD and Historic Scotland have both lodged objections.  Historic Scotland usually only object to a development on ‘national grounds’ and have cited the significant adverse impact on the cairn on Cairntosh Hill.
 


 

Chapman's Howe – 3 x 100m turbines

The MoD has withdrawn their objection to this proposal and the date for decision is 20th Jan 2014.  We suspect that this application will be decided at the Planning Application Committee (PAC) meeting on Wed 29th Jan.
 
High Barcaple  – 1 x 62m turbine

At the PAC meeting on the 11th December, the proposed 62m high turbine at High Barcaple was refused due to landscape impact grounds as the site is located in drumlin pastures.  According to the Landscape Capacity Study drumlins are not suitable (in general) for turbines of more than 35m to tip.  There is presently a 50m mast at High Barcaple which is highly visible around the area.

 

Appeal decisions

Two recent decisions by Scottish Government Reporters have been a bit of a mixed bag.  The Standingstone Farm, Borgue appeal for a 45m turbine to tip was refused as the Reporter found “the proposed development incompatible with its landscape setting and the landscape character of the area.”    This decision once again demonstrated support for local policies but sadly an earlier finding by a different Reporter to grant the Little Sypland appeal for a 1 x74m turbine, seemed at odds with all previous outcomes.
 
Plascow – 3 x 74m turbines

The applicant has agreed an extension for decision until 28th February 2014

 

Barcloy Hill – 5 x 115m turbines

No further news

 


 

New wind farm applications   
 

Two applications have been submitted recently (just in time for the Christmas and New Year period!).
 
Mochrum Fell (13/P/2/0327) for 11 x 126.5m turbines and Auchleand (13/P/1/0366) for 7 x 130m from our old friends Community Windpower Ltd
 
 
Mochrum Fell forms part of the ridgeline which can be seen from many parts of our area and the backdrop to the Ken Valley and Dalry.  The application will be advertised next Thursday (19th) December in the paper meaning the closing date for comment will be Thursday 16th January 2014.  It would appear that objections are already being accepted though.  We do not know the dates for comments for Auchleand yet!

 

A further reminder of these two proposals will be sent out in the New Year as a lot of people will be busy in the run-up to the festive season.

 
Below is a short objection letter for Mochrum Fell that you may copy and paste into your own document
 

It is better to rewrite the objection in your own words but we know people don’t always have time.  Every objection submitted is important

If more than one person from your household wants to object please send the objection in from each separate person.  One objection signed by more than one person still only counts as one!

 

Remember to include your name, address and date for validity (posted objections must also be signed)

Email to PlanningRepresentations@dumgal.gov.uk

Post to     

Head of Planning and Building Standards
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Kirkbank
English Street
Dumfries
DG1 2HS

Objections must be submitted by 5pm Thursday 16th January, 2014

 

 
Address
 

Date
 
Planning Application number 13/P/2/0327
 
Erection of 11 x 126.5m turbines and associated infrastructure at Mochrum Fell, Parton
 
Email   PlanningRepresentations@dumgal.gov.uk
 
 
Dear Planning Officer,
 
 
I OBJECT to the Mochrum Fell Wind Farm for reasons set out below:
 
 

Mochrum Fell wind farm would be prominently sited and highly visible over a large area cluttering the backdrop to Loch Ken and the south and impacting historical assets, designated landscapes, roads, footpaths and viewpoints (Policies E2/3/11, S21).

 

Significant adverse impact on the landscape of the surrounding area due to the height, number and siting of the turbines which will industrialise and change the character of the neighbouring countryside. (IPP & Policies E3, S21, GP7 and 24).

 

19 homes within 2km of the wind farm could suffer potential noise and/or health impacts. (Policies S21, GP24).

 

Excessive & abnormal construction traffic through Crossmichael & Parton, estimated 8,000 HGV movements, between 40 to 90 vehicles per day.  (Policies S21, GP24).

 

Potential adverse impact on the area’s natural heritage, including protected species – goshawks, red kites, great crested newts, 7 bat species. (Policy E6) Impact on established tourism & recreational businesses, tourist routes & trails. (Policy S21).

 
I request that you refuse this application.
 
Yours sincerely
 

Name
 

_________________________________

 

 

Save the Machars
 

We have heard about another campaign group, in Wigtownshire, which is fighting developments over in that area, so please give their website a look and help if you can.

 

www.savethemachars.com
 

_________________________________

 

 

Community Benefits Consultation

 
There is a ‘community benefits consultation’ being run by the Scottish Government which is open for comment until the 17th January 2014.  If anyone would like to comment please go  to  http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/8279  for further information.
 

_________________________________
 

 

Planning News
 

Planning applications
 
 
13/P/1/0351   Annabaglish 14 x 110m   closed for comments
                                (Newton Stewart/Wigtown way)
 
13/C/3/0024   Harestanes ext 7 x 126.5m  (Section 36)
                                Open for comments until Friday 20th Dec
                                Please contact us for details of where to submit
 
13/C/4/0025  Beck Burn, Longtown   (Solway Moss)  9 x 126m
 
13/C/4/0026   Hallburn Farm, Longtown   6 x 126.5m
 
 
Scoping requests
 
13/E/2/0035   Corlae Byre, Dalry   1 x 22.4m

13/E/2/0036   NW of Kirkland Cottage, Manse Rd, Lochfoot
                                1 x 34.42m
 
 
Approved
 
13/P/2/0252   Torrorie Farm, Kirkbean 1 x 20.35m

 
_________________________________

 

TW312's email address has changed to

turbinewatch312@gmail.com 

 
Visit our FACEBOOK PAGE

 

EDF Energy paid £3m to shut down Fallago Rig turbines  

 

 

 

An energy firm has been paid almost £3m to shut down turbines on a wind farm because the National Grid did not want its electricity.

 

EDF Energy received £2.99m in six months to halt production at Fallago Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills on land owned by the Duke of Roxburghe.

 

The "constraint payments" are given for not producing energy during periods of high generation or low demand.

 

Read the full story on the BBC News website.

 

The Knockenduurrick application is now open for comment and members of TW312 have been reading the Environmental Statement submitted by Banks.

 

Key points:-

 

Banks contend that seven 132m high turbines, planned near Twynholm and the Glengap Forest, are suitable for the proposed location based on the guidance from the Dumfries and Galloway Landscape Assessment of 1998, which acknowledges that the intended site could be suitable for a wind farm.

 

The key point Banks have conveniently ignored though, is that this document refers to turbines of approximately 60m to tip as was usual for that era.  Current guidance in the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study (LCS) is quite clear that this size of turbine is not suitable for the complex landform.

 

Banks also admit that 19% of the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area (NSA) will experience significant adverse effects on the landscape character – but then decide in the big scheme of things that isn't important!

As such, only a small percentage of the NSA (19 % of the total land area) would experience significant adverse effects on landscape character. This leads to the conclusion that the effects would not be significant overall

 

Turbines would be visible from Vennie Hill, Rutherford's Monument, Cardoness Castle, Mossyard, Barstobrick (Neilson's Monument) parts of Kircudbright including some of the Conservation Area, Twynholm, Ringford, Borgue and Gatehouse.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Approximation of the view from Mossyard if Knockendurrick is builtOur thanks to John Smith for his kind permission to use his stunning photomontages.

 

Banks are asking for the turbines to be able to operate at a higher noise level than is usual for a development of this size.  This is due to the cumulative effect with the operating/consented smaller farm turbines in the area.  There are over 30 properties within 2km and 15 are predicted to experience significant adverse visual effects.

 

We are still reading the ES and will post more information when we can

 

 

TW312 firmly believes that this development is inappropriate for the location.

 

We have provided a specimen objection letter (below) you can copy that includes some key points.

 

It is better to rewrite the objection in your own words but we know people don’t always have time.  Every objection submitted is important

 

If more than one person from your household wants to object please send the objection in from each separate person.  One objection signed by more than one person still only counts as one!

 

Remember to include your name, address and date, for validity (posted objections must also be signed)

 

Email to

PlanningRepresentations@dumgal.gov.uk

 

Post to 

Head of Planning and Building Standards

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Kirkbank

English Street

Dumfries

DG1 2HS

 

 Objections must be submitted by 5pm Thursday 28th November 2013 

 

If you object via email or letter and receive one of the objection cards through your letterbox, please pass the card onto someone you think may be prepared to object.

 

Thank you!

 

Please note: It is better to rewrite the objection in your own words but we know people don’t always have time.  Every objection submitted is important

 

If more than one person from your household wants to object please send the objection in from each separate person.  One objection signed by more than one person still only counts as one!

 

Remember to include your name, address and date for validity (posted objections must also be signed)

 

Email to

PlanningRepresentations@dumgal.gov.uk

 

Post to 

Head of Planning and Building Standards

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Kirkbank

English Street

Dumfries

DG1 2HS

 

 Objections must be submitted by 5pm Thursday 28th November 2013 

 

If you object by email or letter and have also received one of the objection cards through your letterbox, please pass the card onto someone you think may be prepared to object.

 

Thank you!

 

[please copy the text below the line or view as PDF or downlaod as a Word file]

CLICK HERE to see the specimen objection letter as a pdf document (best for copying)

CLICK HERE to download the letter as a Word document

 


 

[your address]

 

 

[date]

 

 

Head of Planning and Building Standards

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Kirkbank

English Street

Dumfries

DG1 2HS

 

 

Dear Planning Officer,

 

Planning Application    13/P/2/0284

Erection of 7 x 132m wind turbines and associated infrastructure at Knockendurrick, Irelandton, Twynholm

 

 

I object to this application on the following grounds:-

 

  • Approval of this scheme would set a precedent and open the area to further large scale turbines.

 

  • The proposed size of turbine is contrary to the detailed guidance in the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study which concludes “There is no scope for siting the large typology within this landscape due to the scale of these foothills and their likely prominence from adjacent sensitive landscapes.”

 

  • The height of these turbines will diminish the scale of the landmark hills of Knockendurrick, Cairntosh, Fuffock and Bengray. Scottish Natural Heritage advises turbines should not be more than one third of the height of key landscape features.

 

  • The predicted significant adverse impact on approximately one fifth of the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area is unacceptable and I disagree with the applicant’s conclusion that (6.318 Environmental Statement) “This leads to the conclusion that the effects would not be significant overall.”   Turbines would be highly visible from Vennie Hill, Rutherford’s Monument, Cardoness Castle, Mossyard  and around Sandgreen

 

  • The development will have a wide visual impact affecting parts of Kirkcudbright, Twynholm, Gatehouse of Fleet, Borgue and Ringford (including Neilson’s Monument at Barstobrick) as well as more distant settlements and visitors driving in and around the National and Regional Scenic Areas.

 

  • There are over 30 properties within 2km and 15 properties will suffer significant adverse visual effects (ref Appendix 6.7).  Local people face a potential reduction in their quality of life, property values and tourism businesses.  Emerging evidence indicates that wind turbines can impact indirectly on health due to disrupted sleep, stress and annoyance from noise.  These effects can then cause problems such as loss of concentration and cardiovascular problems.

 

 

This proposal breaches SPP 127, 187 and local policies S21, E3, E6, GP7, GP24, D36 and the IPP.

 

I do not believe the benefits of this development will outweigh the negative impacts and hope you refuse this application.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

[your signature if sending by post]

 

[your name]

 

CLICK HERE to see the specimen objection letter as a pdf document (best for copying)

CLICK HERE to download the letter as a Word document

 

This article was published in the Scotsman on Monday 14th October 2013. It serves as a useful resume of how our energy policy has become such a costly [omni]shambles. We have reproduced it here in full and you can see the opriginal here. The author is Bill Jamieson who describes himself:

 

"founder & editor Scot-Buzz, the website for business. Former Execitive Editor The Scotsman."

 


 

 

If it is set to be a cold comfort winter for households as domestic energy bills are hiked, the political temperature is heading in the opposite direction: an explosive boiling point.

 

The truth of UK energy policy has been lost in a maze of subsidies, charges, floor prices and renewables targeting that has led to relentless price increases.

 

The latest 8.2 per cent rise announced by SSE will almost certainly be followed by the other energy suppliers and will raise the average domestic dual fuel energy bill by £106 to £1,380.

 

It is, said one industry expert, “the final nail in the coffin for affordable energy”. But it is only a wonder how it has taken so long for this nail to strike home.

 

Last week’s announcement may have given the impression of hapless energy companies struggling against the impersonal forces of world energy markets. But this is a crisis largely created by successive UK governments. I am grateful to leading energy expert Tony Lodge for an analysis published by the Centre for Policy Studies. Not everyone will go along with some of his radical suggestions, but his account is a useful aide-mémoire of how we got here.

 

Back at a meeting of the European Union Council in 2007, Tony Blair committed the UK to have 15 per cent of our total energy derived from renewables. The level at the time was just 1.2 per cent. No economic impact assessment was put before the prime minister, or indeed commissioned, though in fairness such an exercise could only have been speculative guesswork.

This ambitious target was dwarfed by the commitment to source 35 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2020. Given the tide of political enthusiasm for green energy at the time, when the PM’s finger pointed at the moon, who dared to examine the finger?

 

Last year renewables, including biomass, provided less than 11 per cent of UK electricity, against coal and gas combined at 70 per cent. So the huge switchover inevitably involved substantial costs and sharply higher bills both for business and household consumers. But there was another problem: decommissioning of existing coal-fired plants could land the UK with a crisis of supply. National Grid recently warned again about blackouts and price spikes.

 

The 2007 commitment was followed in 2008 by the Climate Change Act setting a legally binding framework for a 34 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Alongside this was a commitment to close 12 gigawatts of coal and oil power plants by 2015 to meet EU emissions rules. The coalition went along with this and the Scottish Government embellished it. However, new gas plants remain unbuilt.

 

Further intervention brought a new UK price for carbon emissions from power plants, much higher than in the rest of Europe. It was supposed to encourage the building of low-carbon power plants. Instead it resulted in higher prices being slapped on coal and gas plants, pushing up consumers’ bills. The UK carbon tax is expected to add about £1 billion a year to renewables subsidies in 2017.

Meanwhile, a new Emissions Performance Standard will be introduced to ban new coal plants, irrespective of the coal price being low, largely as a result of the US shale boom.

 

Contrast all this with Holland and Germany, where new coal plants are being completed, with more planned. These efficient plants will be able to take advantage of record low coal prices.

 

Lodge says: “We must drop the pretence that the UK enjoys an electricity market – it doesn’t. Instead it has created, through decarbonisation targets, a heavily interventionist and subsidy-drunk sector which is highly regulated.”

 

Among his recommendations are that we should stop building wind turbines (“expensive and do not provide electricity on a viable, reliable or economic scale”); amend the Emission Performance Standard so that new modern coal power plants can be built; stop subsidising solar and re-examine subsidies for biomass wood imports; develop a shale industry; continue to improve energy efficiency and drop the carbon price floor which has been raising electricity bills.

 

The 2007 Blair pre-crash draconian targets should be dropped. They were “ill-founded and unworkable and the UK should no longer be bound by them”.

 

Finally, he urges that “we should cut the ‘greenwash’ and lies about green jobs. Redundant shipyards and factories across northern England and Scotland were promised a bounty of marine and wind-related manufacturing work generating tens of thousands of jobs. It wasn’t and isn’t true.”

 

And if this is not enough to concentrate minds, perhaps this might help: renewable subsidies look set to rise from just under £2bn this year to more than £5bn by 2018-19. Onshore wind will receive a guaranteed electricity price double the typical wholesale price and offshore wind will receive triple the typical wholesale price.

 

Renewable energy subsidies have failed to deliver reductions in cost. Government policy was supposed to reduce costs by creating economies of scale and driving technological innovation, but renewable energy still requires very similar levels of subsidy.

 

Despite this, the Committee on Climate Change has warned that “required investment is at risk” unless higher subsidies for offshore wind are provided. Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, says: “If the government are serious about easing the pressure on people’s living standards, they need to take action and scrap lavish renewable energy subsidies. And it is a joke for Ed Miliband to pretend he is taking on the Big Six on behalf of consumers, when he is proposing to keep the targets in place.”

His conclusion is hard to dispute. If politicians are serious about helping families struggling with their bills, then they need to do something about their “dysfunctional and painfully expensive energy policies”.

 

Amen to that.

 

Twitter: @Bill_Jamieson

 

 

Want to let Alex Salmond know what you think about his plans to cover D&G with a possible 1200 turbines?

 

Join TW312, Save Loch Urr and other local groups on a protest march in Perth at the SNP conference 19th October.

 

Transport available with local pick-ups CD, Dumfries, Dalry etc.  £10 – £15 a head (depending on numbers)

Leaving approx 8.30am

 

  All welcome.

 

To book or for further information, ring Alan on 01556 670692 now or email

 

afkeith@btinternet.com

 

STOP PRESS

Post Categories

Post Archives