Search Results for: barcloy

 

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!

Mayfield

 

Community Windpower Ltd has submitted an appeal to the Scottish Government against the refusal of their Mayfield application by the council.

 

An advert appeared in the Galloway News on Thursday 4th April notifying objectors that they have 14 days from this date to submit further comments on this application if they so wish.

 

Normally the council have to send individual letters to everyone who commented but due to the numbers involved it was agreed by the Scottish Government that Dumfries and Galloway council could instead place an advert in the local paper.  If you know someone who did comment and may like to add further comments please let them know they have until the 18th April 2013 to send their email to :-

 

Marie.Buchanan@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

Or write to:-

 

The Scottish Government

Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals

4 The Courtyard

Callendar Business Park

Callendar Road

Falkirk

FK1 1XR

 

 

Documents can be viewed on the council’s eplanning website or at

 

http://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk

 

(use simple search facility and enter case number for Mayfield which is PPA-170-2062)

 

 

Community Windpower’s main arguments against refusal

 

 

The Mayfield application conforms to guidance in the Wind Energy Diagram Technical Paper No5 (1999) and (they try to argue!) the Interim Planning Policy (IPP).

 

The current Supplementary Guidance on Wind Energy Development (the IPP) is not a material consideration as it has been incorporated into the draft Local Development Plan which has just been out for public consultation.

 

Scottish Natural Heritage has not objected to the application and the implication is therefore they support it!  Anyone who has read SNH’s response can be left in no doubt this couldn’t be further from the truth.  SNH are unable to object to applications unless the proposal impacts on national grounds.

 

The proposed wind farm would make a ‘small but valuable’ contribution towards the Scottish and UK renewable energy targets

 

IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE FURTHER EVIDENCE TO SUBMIT PLEASE EMAIL tw312@stringbag.net FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

 

Barcloy Hill Wind Farm

 

RES UK has applied to the council for an extension to the date for determination.  This six week agreement will mean the determination date is now 2nd June 2013.

 

 

Chapman’s Howe

 

REG Windpower has announced further public exhibitions for the Chapman’s Howe project which has been reduced from 4 x 107m turbines to 3 x 100m (still contrary to local policies!).

 

Gelston Village Hall   1 – 7.30 pm   Friday 26th April

KBT Town Hall   10 – 3 pm   Saturday 27th April

Reasons for objection – click here

 

Open for comments until Thursday 14th February 2013

TW312 heard yesterday that RES UK have submitted their application for the Barcloy Hill development between Gelston and Kirkcudbright.

 

Despite RES boasting on their website that they believe in "open and honest communication with the communities"  local people were unaware that the application had been submitted the week before Christmas!  How much would it have cost RES to let the 27 properties within 2km of the development know of their intentions?

 

We were told that the application would be submitted in early spring 2012 and have heard nothing from RES since their last Community Group Liason meeting back in Nov 2011.  Congratulations RES on keeping the local community informed!

 

With 209 documents to download, read and digest TW312 members will be busy for some time.  Objections can be submitted to the council once the advertisement for the application appears in the newspaper (expected Thursday 17th Jan 2013) and will be open for 28 days.

 

We will be posting  reasons for objection soon so please check back!

 

The 80m mast at Barcloy Hill    Photo by Rae Leigh

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

 

 

 

Banks Renewables have submitted Further Environmental Information on their proposed changes to the Knockendurrick development near Twynholm.  Documents can now be viewed on the council website and comments submitted until 5pm on Thursday 29th June 2017.

 

Although Banks have reduced the height of the turbines from 7 x 132m turbines to 6 x 115m and 1 x 100m to tip, the development would still have significant landscape and visual impacts.

 

The Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study, which states that “There is no scope for siting the large (>80m)  typology (turbines) within this landscape due to the scale of these foothills and their likely  prominence from adjacent sensitive landscapes", is quite clear that this development is in the wrong location. 

 

Below is an approximation of how the proposal could look…..

 

A new website has been set up called Say No to Knockendurrick – please Click here for more information

 

The refusal of the California, Mayfield, Barcloy Hill and Chapman's Howe developments in recent years strongly supports local policies.  If Knockendurrick were approved it would be particularly visible across large areas to the south, west and east which is the heart of D & G's main tourist area and it would significantly weaken local policies. 

 

We need as many people as possible to object individually to this scheme as Banks have been very active collecting support and many people have no idea exactly what they are supporting or how the proposal is contrary to local planning policies.

 

Please help us to protect our landscapes and tourism industry, by objecting before 5pm on Thursday 29th June and passing the message on to as many people as you can and asking them to object too.

 

Click HERE for a specimen objection letter created for Knockendurrick. You can add or delete text as you like! Just insert your address, the date and then your name at the end. Remember if two or more people sign the same objection it will only count as one so please sign and send in individually.

 

 

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.

 

 

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'!

 

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.

 

 

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

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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

 

 

 

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

 

3 x 100m turbines at Chapman's Howe Wind Farm

at

Hartburn Farm, Kirkcudbright

 

Please, we need as many genuine objections as possible as we are aware that there is a support 'campaign' ongoing.  Please pass this on to as many people as you can and show the developers and our councillors that we care about the landscape of D & G.

 

CH_panorama_1_600px

Proposed 3 x 100m turbines near Hartburn Farm, Kirkcudbright

Click on the photo to see a larger image.

 

The 2 x 20m turbines on site will be removed if Chapman's Howe is approved.  They are barely visible to the left but show the difference in size!  This is an approximation of what the development will look like.

 

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

 

The site is not ‘up in the hills’ and away from people as there are 26 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 iconic ridgeline of Screel, Bengairn/Barcloy contravening local policy.

 

Dumfries & Galloway Council's responsibility is to ensure a balance between turbine development and the amenity value of local landscapes. These landscape types have been assessed for local Council policy as NOT being suitable for turbines over 50 – 55m to tip.  If these turbines (or any turbines over 55m) are approved it will set a precedent for this area.  This would render the council’s latest planning policy ineffective for any other turbine developments  – wasting a great deal of public money. More importantly there would be no effective means of protecting valuable local landscapes against the industrialising effects of very big turbine development.

 

 

Barcloy Ridge

 

The Barcloy Ridge – photo taken from B727 near Sypland.  Note the 80m mast to the right that towers above the Barcloy ridge line.  The foreground is the Chapman's Howe site and the turbines would be approximately the same tip height as the mast tip!

Barcloy mast


TW312 firmly believes that this development is inappropriate for the location and is contrary to Council poilcy.


 

Below are 2 specimen 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 an objection in from each person.  One objection letter signed by several people still only counts as a single objection!

 

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

Email to: PlanningRepresentations@dumgal.gov.uk

 

Or 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 15th August 2013

 

If you object via email or letter and don't intend to use  one of the objection cards received through your letterbox, please pass the card onto someone you think may be prepared to object.

 

Thank you!

 


[version1]

 

[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/2/0189

Erection of 3 x 100m wind turbines and associated infrastructure

at Chapman's Howe, Hartburn Farm, Kirkcudbright

 

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 guidance detailed in the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study, which identifies turbines of 50-55m to tip as being more appropriate for this site.

 

The height of these turbines will diminish the scale of the landmark hills and ridge line of Screel, Bengairn and Barcloy. Scottish Natural Heritage advises turbines should not be more than one third of the height of key landmarks (such as these coastal granite hills).

 

The turbines would be too close to several properties but one in particular will experience an over-bearing presence with all 3 turbines located within 750m.  Local people face a potential adverse impact on their quality of life and property values.  Emerging evidence indicates that wind turbines can impact indirectly on health due to stress and annoyance from noise, which are known to cause problems such as disrupted sleep, tinnitus, loss of concentration and cardiovascular problems.

 

Excessive amounts of construction traffic and abnormal loads will travel through Gelston and along minor roads over a six month period.

 

The site supports a variety of wildlife which could suffer through loss of foraging/disturbance of habitat and many wintering birds pass through the site on their way to and from feeding grounds.

 

There will be a significant adverse impact on the setting of archaeological features such as Kirkbride Settlement and Dungarry Fort.

 

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,

 

[Name & Signature]

 


[Version 2 – more detailed]

 

[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/2/0189

Erection of 3 x 100m wind turbines and associated infrastructure

at Chapman's Howe, Hartburn Farm, Kirkcudbright

 

I object to this application on the following grounds:-

 

Setting a precedent

 

Approval of this scheme would set a precedent and open the area to further large scale turbines which would prove difficult to stop.  SNH have raised concerns in their scoping response for the adjacent Barcloy Hill “that permitting the use of large turbines in this location would set a precedent for their widespread use in this area”.

 

Size of turbines

 

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.”

 

The Landscape Capacity Study classification for Coastal Granite Uplands, identifies turbines at the lower end of medium typology (50-55m to tip) as being more appropriate for this site.

 

“Scale and openness:-   there may be some limited opportunity to locate turbines towards the lower height band of this typology (and limited numbers of turbines) to avoid dominating the vertical scale of key hills.”

 

“Landform and shape:-   There may be some limited scope to locate lower (height) turbines on slacker lower hill slopes and less complex undulating moorland in the north-west and west of this unit to minimise effects on adjacent more dramatic rugged hills”.

 

“Landscape context:-   there may be some increased scope to locate turbines towards the lower height band of this typology in areas where the landmark hills are less pronounced”

 

"Landscape values:-   This typology may also affect the setting of the landmark hills if located in undesignated parts of this landscape unit of the Coastal Granite Uplands."

 

However, the applicant fails to make a convincing case that the locality is appropriate for 100m turbines to tip.  They completely fail to address the issue of the scale of the turbines in relation to the height of the landmark hills of Bengairn, Barcloy and Suie Hill.

 

Guidance from SNH 2009, states that wind farms of good design are typically “Of minor vertical scale in relation to the key features of the landscape (typically less than one third)”

 

This proposal is for  turbines to be  sited approximately 135m below the Barcloy ridgeline. SNH's guidance (above) would mean limiting the height of  turbines to no more than 50m.  This guidance backs the advice in the LCS, which is further supported by the fact that, to date, there are no approved turbines over 55m in the area with several proposals ranging from 74m to 130m being refused by the council and/or the Scottish Government.

 

Turbines of 100m to tip will have the effect of diminishing the scale of this iconic ridge and in many views the turbines will be visible on the skyline.  Views to and from these hills will be disrupted by the moving blades.

 

The landscape around the site is unique and complex and the introduction of large industrial generators will detract from these rare, special qualities as they would appear out of scale with the surrounding landscape and the small landscape features of gorse, hedgerows and mature trees. The applicant tries to down-grade the landscape sensitivity of the site and this tactic should not be entertained.

 

 

Impacts on National Scenic Area (NSA) and Regional Scenic Area (RSA)

 

There is a tendency for wind developers to devalue the inland setting of the coastal granite uplands.  The Screel/Bengairn/Barcloy ridge performs an important function as the background setting for Castle Douglas and for views across the wider area.

 

The LCS identifies that uninterrupted views to and from Bengairn are important.  This does not only mean out to the coastal views but as a 360 ° experience.  The piecemeal erosion of parts of the NSA and RSA should not be tolerated.  At just over 3km distance from Bengairn these turbines will introduce large, vertical, moving, man made structures which will detract significantly from the vistas.

 

The RSA is just 400m away and actually extends towards the site beyond the NSA boundary.  This whole area is worthy of National Park status and the small scale of our NSA’s and RSA’s should be fiercely protected.

 

 

Impacts on Residential Amenity

       

The turbines would be far too close to nearby properties with all 3 turbines ranging from approximately 650 – 750m for one property.  This would have an overbearing effect on the residents.  Local people face a reduction in their quality of life and property values due to significant visual impact and/or noise.

 

The developer gives assurances that the permitted noise levels will be met but adhering to these levels does not guarantee that local people won’t suffer noise problems.  Guidance (ETSU-R-97) was written in 1996 at a time when turbines were half the height planned for Chapman’s Howe and is considered by many acousticians to be outdated and unfit for purpose.

 

If Barcloy Hill is approved, the applicant requests that the permitted noise levels be raised from 35 dB during the daytime to 37.5dB.  This should not be allowed – it is evident that trying to cram too many turbines in-between properties is an identied problem so why should local residents suffer higher noise levels?

 

Emerging evidence indicates that wind turbines can impact indirectly on health due to stress and annoyance, which are known to cause problems such as disrupted sleep, tinnitus, loss of concentration and cardiovascular problems.

 

In view of this, the ‘Precautionary Principle’ should be invoked and setback distances of 2km enforced between properties and turbines.

 

 

Other issues

 

Excessive amounts of construction traffic and abnormal loads will travel through Gelston and along minor roads over a six month period.  Local property owners are concerned about structural damage heavy traffic could cause to their roadside dwellings

 

The site supports a variety of wildlife which could suffer through loss of foraging/disturbance of habitat and many wintering birds pass through the site on their way to and from feeding grounds.  The numbers of over-wintering birds quoted are low compared to the numbers witnessed by locals in the area.  One of the problems with the bird surveys is that the bird surveyors do not attain a true picture of the large numbers of over-wintering birds that fly over the site on days when they are not present.

 

There will be a significant adverse impact on the setting of archaeological features such as Kirkbride Settlement and Dungarry Fort.

 

The Chapman's Howe Wind Farm would in effect be adjacent to the Barcloy Hill 5 x 115 metre wind turbine development for which the application has been submitted but not yet decided.  If Barcloy were consented, this development would have a cumulative negative impact due to the differing heights of turbines and rotational speeds of the blades which would make for a confusing picture and would ‘clutter’ the locality.  The impact on the landscape character would be significant and adverse and the requested increase in permitted noise levels to 37.5dB should not be allowed for what in effect would be an 8 turbine wind farm.

 

The applicant admits in their application that this development will bring little economic benefit to the area, however, it will have long term economic consequences for households as the ‘subsidies’ gained by the development are levied via consumers’ electricity bills for the 25-year operational life of the wind farm.

 

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 urge you you refuse this application.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

[Name & Signature]

 

 

After three and a half years fighting this proposal, TW312 are delighted to announce that the Reporter appointed by the Scottish Government has refused the appeal.

 

Landscape visual impact and the overbearing impact on 2 properties are citied

 

Click here to read report

 

Scroll down to 5th June – Appeal decision document

 

The Reporter has recognised the importance of the Interim Planning Policy (IPP) and the Dumfries and Galloway Landscape Capacity Study (DGWLCS) which contains the details of landscape character types and their ability to accommodate a size of turbine in a particular location.

 

 

 

Some quotes from the report:-

 

I agree with the conclusions of the council’s landscape capacity study (DGWLCS) that there would be significant adverse effects from large turbines occurring across a wide range of sensitivities within the drumlin pastures and coastal granite uplands. From the evidence of my site inspection, I also agree with the advice of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) that the drumlin pastures and coastal uplands have a higher sensitivity than ‘medium’ to large (typology) turbines as suggested in the appellant’s Environmental Statement.

 

I find the whole landscape envelope, running north-east to south-west from Castle Douglas to Kirkcudbright and incorporating small settlements and their agricultural hinterlands, would be unable to accommodate 6 wind turbines of the size and scale proposed by the appellant.  I consider the proposed turbines, 130 metres in height to blade tip, would the area’s small scale land use pattern and gentle rounded topography.

 

I find that the turbines would be visually dominant when viewed from the north against the rising backdrop of the granite uplands (Screel, Bengairn, Barcloy) and the jagged hill tops beyond. The peaks and hills are also important recreational assets and I consider their attractiveness would be diminished by the presence of a cluster of large turbines in such close proximity.

 

In summary, for the reasons set out in paragraphs 9 to 15 above, I consider that the proposal does not accord with the requirements of structure plan policies S21 and E3 and interim planning policy (IPP) WEP3 because it would result in a significant adverse impact on the character, appearance and visual amenity of the local landscape and area. The turbines would also have a significant adverse visual impact on occupiers of the two closest residential properties.

 

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over this time and/or has submitted objections

NEWS UPDATE

 

MAYFIELD   A Reporter visited the site on Tuesday 7th May.  A decision is expected by 7th June which is next Friday!

 

BARCLOY HILL      RES and D & G council have agreed an extension to the decision date which is now the 2nd September 2013.

 

RES are trying to change the noise conditions and are in discussion with the Environmental Health Officer.  RES also applied recently to change the noise conditions for the Glenchamber wind farm but as these had been set by a Reporter at the appeal stage the D & G councillors decided not to allow RES's requested alterations.

 

CHAPMAN'S HOWE   is expected to be submitted sometime this month if REG Windpower are on course!

 

KNOCKENDURRICK (IRELANDTON)   The council's scoping response indicates that the proposed scale of this development is not suitable for the site

 

LITTLE SYPLAND (1 x 74m)   has been refused by the Planning Application Committee due to the adverse impact on the landscape and the objection by the National Air Traffic Services.

 

Ingleston Lodge, Gelston – who already have permission for a 21m turbine, have submitted a scoping request for a 32m to tip turbine. (13/E/2/0017)

 

Other scoping applications recently submitted include:-

Merkland Farm   1 x 67m (13/E/2/0013)

Holehouse Farm Kirkpatrick Durham   1 x 42m  (13/E/2/0016)

Braidenoch Farm, CD   1 x 21.5m  (13/E/2/0019)

 

OPEN FOR OBJECTION until Thursday 6th June

 

13/P/2/0129   PLASCOW FARM  DALBEATTIE   3 x 74m

 

This application is very similar to a previous proposal for 3 x 84m turbines which was refused due to the proximity of nearby houses.  The new application has moved the turbines 150m further away but the people nearby are extremely worried about this development.

 

You can email an objection to PlanningRepresentations@dumgal.gov.uk by 5pm on 6th June.

Community Windpower Ltd have submitted an appeal to the council's refusal of the Mayfield wind farm.

 

The application will be allocated to a Reporter from the Scottish Government who will decide how the appeal will be heard.  This could be through an oral hearing or via written evidence.

 

Anyone who commented on the application should be contacted and will be able to submit further comment.

 

Community Windpower's decision to appeal this application demonstrates complete disdain for our local policies and communities. This application is CLEARLY against the Interim Planning Policy and the Landscape Capacity Study.

 

Sadly their attitude is not unique as RES UK showed at the Kirkcudbright Community Council meeting last week.  When asked by a community councillor how they expected the Barcloy hill wind farm to be approved as it was against local policy, the new project manager replied that they were aware it was against local policies but they hoped to push it through anyway.

 

So much for community consultation and local democracy!

BARCLOY HILL

 

RES announced a new project manager for the Barcloy Hill Wind Farm at the Kirkcudbright Community Council meeting last week.  When asked how the scheme conformed to local policy they admitted it didin't but said they hoped it would be pushed through anyway!

 

RES stated that the decision date for Barcloy was the 24th April (unless RES and the council agree an extension) and there is a Planning Application Committee meeting due that day.  We will let you know as soon as we hear if Barcloy is on the agenda.

 

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) are not able to object to wind farms anymore but have submitted clear guidance that the Barcloy turbines are too big for the landscape and will have significant adverse impacts on the area.

 

MAYFIELD

 

Community Windpower Ltd have until the 18th March to appeal against the councils refusal of the Mayfield application.  It could take a few days for the appeal to appear on the Scottish Government website but we should know by the end of next week.

 

IRELANDTON (KNOCKENDURRICK)

 

Banks Renewables will be holding 3 public exhibitions on the Knockendurrick proposal for 10 x 132m turbines

 

Twynholm Village Hall 18th March 3 -7pm

Kirkcudbright Town Hall 19th March  3 – 7pm

Gatehouse Community Centre 21st March 3 – 7pm

 

COLLIESTON HILL

 

The application for an 80m mast has been appealed to the Scottish government due to non-determination within the time frame allowed.  There is a scoping application in for the same site for 18 x 141.4m turbines.

 

OPEN FOR COMMENT (until 28/03/13)

 

13/P/2/0044   High Barcaple   1 x 62m

13/P/2/0050   Larg Farm Creetown 1 X 45.5m

 

PLANNING APPLICATIONS

 

13/P/2/0055   Marnhoul Wood ( E271234, N576145) 1 X 80m Met Mast (Infiergy)

13/P/2/0056   Smittons   E262318, N593717) 1 X 80m Met Mast (Infiergy)

13/P/1/0042   Kirwaugh Farm Wigtown 2 X 28.673m turbines

13/P/1/0105   North Park Farm Kirkcolm 1 X 46.5m turbines

 

SCOPING APPLICATIONS

 

13/E/1/0021   Awkirk Farm Ardwell 1 X 27m turbine

13/E/1/0022   Baltersan Farm Newton Stewart 1 X 45m

13/E/1/0023   Reiffer Park Sorbie Newton Stewart 1 X 67m

 

13/N/1/0002 Shennanton Wind Farm, Kirkcowan 11 X 100m turbines dated 07/03/2013 (submitted by PNE Wind)

13/N/1/0003 Larbrax Wind Farm Nr Stranraer 8 X 125m turbines dated 07/03/2013 (Submitted by PNE Wind)

 

APPROVED

 

12/P/2/0216     Chapman's Howe     16m met mast

12/P/2/0228      Barcloy Hill     renewal 80m met mast

12/P/2/0214      Marnhoul , Dalry     50m met mast

12/P/2/0215      Little Sypland     50m met mast

 

PLANNING APPLICATIONS

 

12/P/2/0243     High Banks, KBT     2 x 33.1m

Open for comment until 04/10/12

12/P/2/0244     Banks Hill, KBT     2 x 33.1m

Open for comment until 04/10/12

 

12/P/1/0281     Glenstockdale     2 x 100m

12/P/4/0246     Craig wind farm    1 x 99.5m

 

SCOPING APPLICATION

 

12/E/2/0032     West Kirkcarswell     1 x 56.3m

 

12/E/1/0056     Arriequhillart, Wigtown     18 x 136.5m

 

A new website has been set up to fight the Arriequhillart development

for more details http://www.airriequhillartwindfarmprotest.com/

 

OPEN FOR COMMENT (until 23/08/12)

 

 

12/P/2/0213     High Barcaple, Ringford     50m met mast

12/P/2/0214     Marnhoul Farm, Corsock     50m met mast

12/P/2/0215     Little Sypland, Gelston     50m met mast

12/P/2/0216     Hartburn, Kbt      16m met mast

 

12/P/2/0228     Barcloy Hill, Kbt     80m met mast

Renewal of existing application for 2 years

 

12/P/2/0224 & 0225   Margee   60m met mast

Renewal of existing applications

 

12/P/1/0135     Balunton Hill, Bargrennan     80m met mast

 

Scoping Requests

 

12/E/2/0028     Pencloe, New Cumnock     33 x 130m turbines

 

12/E/2/0029     Ken View, Parton     1 x 25.8m turbine

 

GALTWAY HILL 2 X 100M TURBINES REFUSED BY SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT DUE TO LANDSCAPE IMPACT

 

STOP PRESS

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