BARCLOY HILL WIND FARM     5 x 115m TURBINES

 

 

The site lies off the B727 (National Cycle Route 7) which is the Gelston to Kirkcudbright road, between Nether Linkins and Whinnieliggate.  

 

The site is not ‘up in the hills’ and away from people as there are 27 properties within 2km. 

 

The development would be located in a very complex landscape which is unique in Dumfries and Galloway.  On the cusp of coastal granite uplands and peninsula landscape character types, turbines of this height would dominate the surrounding area and be highly visible for long distances.

 

More importantly, the landscape types have been assessed in local policy as NOT being suitable for turbines over 60m to tip.  This means that if these turbines (or any turbines over 60m) are approved, a precedent will be set for this area, making it very difficult to stop further development.  It would also render the council’s latest planning policy useless and a complete waste of public money.

 

Photo taken from B727 near Sypland – note how the 80m mast dominates the ridgeline!

 

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

 

Below are 2 objection letters 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 14th February 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!

 


Short Objection

 

Address

 

 

 

Date

 

12/P/2/0357      5 x 115m turbines and associated infrastructure at Barcloy Hill, Kirkcudbright

 

 

I object to this planning application on the following grounds:-

 

 

Setting a precedent – approval for this size of turbine would set a precedent for the area and would open the door to further developments.

 

Landscape and visual impacts will be significant and adverse for this proposal.  Local policy clearly demonstrates that these turbines are out of scale with the surrounding landscape character types.  The turbines will dominate the Barcloy Hill ridgeline which is also against advice contained in council guidelines. 

 

Impact on the National and Regional Scenic Area (NSA & RSA) will be significant and negative with views to and from Bengairn being disrupted.  The impact on the RSA at Nun Mill Bay (The Doon) is not acceptable as this popular location is frequently visited by tourists and locals.

 

Impacts on local residents are under-estimated.  No visual assessment has been submitted for the people who will be affected the most – namely those living nearest to the site.  These turbines are too close to people’s homes and the issue of potential health impacts is dismissed with scant regard for the latest emerging evidence. 

 

A variety of wildlife is present on the Barcloy site with protected birds identified in the ornithological surveys including Whooper Swans, Peregrine Falcons, Hen Harrier, Merlin and Red Kite.  17 species on the red list (most in danger) of the Birds of Conservation Concerns were noted.  Over-wintering birds such as geese and swans frequently pass through the site on their way to and from feeding grounds.

 

Access route changes will not form part of this application and this would indicate that there are still problems to overcome.  Due to the magnitude of alterations required on proposed routes, considerable works would be required, adding to the extent of change to the surrounding landscape and habitat.  Properties in Gelston are in danger of serious damage from the increase in heavy traffic. Changes to the B727 road between the Slagnaw turn off and Sheillahill Farm appear to involve widening by up to 8m, which will completely destroy the character of this area and should not be contemplated.

 

Environmental Impact Assessments on the road alterations and structural baseline studies on roadside homes in Gelston should be conducted prior to a decision on this application.

 

Any supposed benefits of this development will not outweigh the negative impacts and I request that this application be refused.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Name

 


Standard Objection

 

 

Address

 

 

 

 

Date

 

 

Planning Application 12/P/2/0357

 

Erection of 5 x 115m turbines, 1 x 72m met mast and associated infrastructure at Barcloy Hill

 

 

 

I object to the above proposal for the following reasons:-

 

 

Setting a precedent

 

This proposal is just one more in a series of submissions for the area around Kirkcudbright, Twynholm, Gatehouse of Fleet and Castle Douglas – approval of this application will set a precedent for large turbines and open the door to further development in the area.

 

 

Landscape impact

 

The site sits on the boundaries of 2 landscape character types (peninsula and coastal granite uplands).  The Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study (LCS) indicates that neither landscape type is suitable for turbines of this size by stating that:-

 

“There is no scope for the larger typologies to be located within the Dundrennan

peninsula without significant adverse effects occurring on a number of key sensitivity

criteria.”

 

“There is no scope for the large typology to be located within the Bengairn unit of the Coastal

Granite Uplands without significant adverse effects occurring across a wide range of

sensitivities.”

 

Further guidance indicates that turbines at the lower end of medium typology (50-55m) would be more suitable – these intended turbines are twice the recommended size.

 

The turbine blades will only be several metres below the Barcloy Hill ridgeline but when viewed from many locations around the area, will appear on the skyline and interfere with views to the iconic hills behind.  The LCS states that Development should be sited to… avoid dominating the lower craggy ridges of Barcloy Hill.”  Turbines of this size would dominate the ridgeline.

 

The landscape around the site is unique and complex.  The introduction of large industrial generators will detract from these rare, special qualities and they would appear out of scale with the surrounding landscape. 

 

The site is close to a National Scenic Area which should be protected.  Screel and Bengairn form important recreational upland areas and the view from Bengairn looking southwest over towards the coast and the Isle of Whithorn will be disrupted by the rotating blades.  The movement will attract the eye and detract from the viewer’s enjoyment of the vista.

 

This development is also located just metres from the Regional Scenic Area (RSA) and will have significant adverse impacts out to at least 10km.  The developer acknowledges the turbines will be visible from one of the most popular tourist spots in RSA at Nun Mill Bay, (The Doon) and will significantly and adversely impact on this location. 

 

 

Cumulative Impact

 

Information submitted on potential cumulative impacts is out of date and needs revising.  Whilst it is understandable that the avalanche of planning applications makes it difficult to assess the current situation, to submit circumstances from nearly 18 months ago is not sufficient.  Cumulative impacts with Mayfield 6 x 130m, Little Sypland 1 x 74m, Culdoach 1 x 77m and West Kircarswell 1 x 56.6m need to be considered.  The cumulative impact with further applications may be required, depending on the date of decision, with possible impending submissions for Irelandton 10 x 136m, Chapman’s Howe 4 x 107m, Baerlochan 1 x 105m, Valley View 1 x 80m, High Barcaple 1 x 80m and Culcaigrie 1 x 66m.

 

 

Impact on local residents

 

Essential information is lacking as there has been no assessment of the visual impact these turbines will have on local people living around the site.  It is these people who are going to have to live for years with this development if approved. 

 

The developer gives assurances that the permitted noise levels will be met but adhering to these levels does not guarantee local people won’t suffer noise problems.  Guidance was written in 1996 at a time when turbines were half the height planned for Barcloy and is considered by many acousticians to be outdated and unfit for purpose.  The effects of local topography do not appear to have been deliberated in the predicted noise levels.

 

There is rapidly emerging evidence from across the world that wind turbines do impact indirectly on health through annoyance and stress.  Both are known to cause problems such as disrupted sleep, tinnitus, loss of concentration, cardiovascular problems and even cancer.  Until further independent research is carried out the ‘Precautionary Principle’ should be invoked and setback distances of 2km enforced between properties and turbines. 

 

 

Access to the site

 

The preferred access route will pass through Gelston village, which has properties close to the road.  Local property owners are concerned about structural damage heavy traffic could cause to their roadside dwellings but the developer has declined to conduct structural baseline surveys.  The onus has now been placed on owners to prove any arising problems are the result of wind farm traffic – this will be very difficult to do. 

 

The B727 will need widening at the B736 junction to Castle Douglas and all the way ‘up the hill’ between the Rhonehouse turn off and Sheillahill Farm.  Vague mention of up to 8m widening being required indicates significant changes to the character of this section of road and should be resisted.  Details of the proposed changes should have been included so the public could comment and enable the full impact of the development to be assessed.

 

It is understood that a separate planning application will be submitted for changes to the roads.  By doing this, the developer (RES UK) have diminished the overall negative impacts of this scheme.  This is not acceptable and the negative impact on the access route should be assessed within the decision taken on this proposal.

 

 

Wildlife

 

The site supports a variety of wildlife throughout the year, including, badgers, great crested newts and possibly otters.  Five species of birds identified on the Annexe 1 of the Birds Directive list are recorded on/over the site including Whooper Swans, Red Kite, Peregrine Falcon, Hen Harrier and Merlin.  17 bird species are identified as being under threat and are included in the red list of the Birds of Conservation Concerns 3.

 

Large numbers of over-wintering birds, such as geese and swans, frequently pass through the site on their way to and from feeding grounds.

 

 

Impacts on tourism

 

To date, council policy has been able to prevent the spread of turbines over 50m in the area around Kirkcudbright.  Please uphold this stance by refusing this application – if allowed to set a precedent and further development is then approved, the impact on tourism around this area could be disastrous.  Developers frequently quote research stating 75-80% of tourists would not be put off visiting areas with wind farms, but can local businesses afford to lose the income from the 20% that are?

 

I do not believe the benefits of this development will outweigh the negative impacts and request that this application be refused.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Name

 

 

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