Scottish Water pull plug on Loch Bradan turbine … for now …

Source: 13/00626/APP Photomontage 3

13/00626/APP Photomontage 3

Anybody who has been trying to access the South Ayrshire Planning link to the single turbine proposed at Loch Bradan, may have noticed that as of Monday (29th July) it was not possible to leave comments, and the status had been changed to ‘Application Withdrawn’. Our Chairman, Bill Steven,  followed up with Scottish Water who have responded with the following:

“Scottish Water will be looking to resubmit our planning application for a wind turbine on this site as we are looking to develop wind power here to help reduce our energy costs. The resubmission is due to the fact that we have looked at reducing the visual impact on the surrounding area and this will be presented to Ayrshire Council in the near future.”

Given this, we can only assume that perhaps Scottish Water underestimated the overwhelming strength of feeling our community and visitors to the area have with regards to protecting this unique and beautiful landscape.  There were already 123 objections which had made it to the South Ayrshire Planning department, including a 12 page letter from the committee at SSfS, and there were still many more in the pipeline.  Thank you  to everyone who took the time to make their feelings known!

Bearing in mind there will be a resubmission from Scottish Water, you (and they) can be assured it will be getting the same level of scrutiny from SSfS, as ‘Visual Impact’ was only one of many issues raised with regards to this application.  We will keep you posted of any developments, and as always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments regarding this issue.

From our friends in the south


Our friends in the south

Over the last few months support for the campaign to protect this beautiful part of the country from inappropriate development has come from far and wide. Here is an extract from a letter from Andrew Poole and family from Liverpool who were visiting the Galloway Forest Park and Straiton.
“After experiencing not only the village itself, but the surrounding environment and wild countryside, and then learning about the possible coming destruction and negative impact on the area, how could we not support the campaign? Though only a few, we readily signed the petition that was available within The Buck teashop.
Upon our arrival home to Liverpool, even after a wonderful week of camping with many stories to share, it was the people of Straiton and your current situation that we spoke about the most. Not only was the destruction of the natural environment, or the possible negative impact on the local economy, a concern for those that we had informed, but also the total disregard for Straiton’s personal freedom to enjoy your homes, land and environment the way you see fit. This issue alone was enough to spur even supporters of wind farming on to support your cause.”
Enclosed with the letter was a further 51 signatures on our petition which the Poole family had gathered upon their return.

Save Straiton Newsletter #4!

ssfsnews4Hopefully everyone has been enjoying the great weather and getting out and about in the sunshine!  In between sunbathing, the SSfS committee have been busy, and the campaign has been hotting up (sorry – couldn’t resist)!  As there are a few updates and dates for your diary, we have produced an extra edition of our newsletter to highlight these.
Those living locally should have already received their copy through the door, and those living further afield can download their copy here.

* Important reminder … for anyone who is free tomorrow (24th July),  there is a meeting in Dalmellington Community Centre at 10.00am  where a Reporter will be present to hear evidence for and against a proposal to erect 8 turbines at Chalmerston. Last January it was recommended for refusal by East Ayrshire Planning Department. The developers however,  have appealed against the decision.  It would be fantastic if as many people as possible can turn up and show support for our neighbours in Dalmellington who overwhelmingly oppose this development. If you are able to attend – please arrive a bit earlier as as there is likely to be some TV and press attention and a good turnout always attracts interest.


Objections do count – wind development is blown off course!


13/00626/APP Photomontage 3

With the end of July deadline looming for objections to the proposed Loch Bradan turbine, it is worth considering that there are good news stories out there and that every objection really does count!

A 5 turbine wind farm near the Cheviot Hills which received over 1000 objections has been thrown out by the Scottish Borders Council. The full story can be found here.

One of the grounds given for refusal was that: The proposal would have a significantly adverse landscape and visual impact .. in ..a landscape that is currently unaffected by this type of development …‘.  To anyone who has been to the tranquil and unspoilt area of Loch Bradan this statement will ring so true. Hopefully our council planning department will agree.

If there is anyone who is considering objecting to the Loch Bradan turbine, but perhaps feels it won’t make a difference, then the story above may provide some confidence, that even for smaller developments, this is not necessarily the case.  For those who have objected – thank you for your support in helping to protect this cherished landscape.   As a reminder, details on how to object can be found below:

Note: One letter = one objection regardless of how many people sign it, so, where possible don’t forget to submit multiple objections per household.

Secret diesel back-up generators exposed by the Daily Mail

smoke-from-genratorAn article in the Daily Mail reveals that there are “Thousands of dirty diesel generators are being secretly prepared all over Britain to provide emergency back-up to prevent the National Grid collapsing when wind power fails.

And under the hugely costly scheme, the National Grid is set to pay up to 12 times the normal wholesale market rate for the electricity they generate.”

Read more here 

European Court of Justice ruling a ‘victory’ for citizens


European Court of Justice ruling a 'victory' for citizens

An article in the Carrick Gazette describes the importance of the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice in upholding a submission brought by European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW).
“The Commission has failed to conduct technical studies calculating how many tonnes of fossil fuels will really be saved by the hundreds of thousands of wind turbines it wants to force onto rural populations and on avian and marine life. “As it turns out, various independent engineers estimate there will be no savings at all, so the people are more than justified to seek redress,” says Mark Duchamp, the conservationist who runs EPAW.
Read the full article here, it is not long and well worth it.

Loch Bradan turbine: Object Now!

Source: 13/00626/APP Photomontage 3

13/00626/APP Photomontage 3

As you are aware a ‘surprise’ single turbine application sneaked into South Ayrshire Councils planning process last month. This was the application (13/00626/APP)  from Scottish Water to erect a 101.5m turbine at the edge of Loch Bradan, and as you can see from this picture it’s not trivial!
We agreed as a committee that we would like to fight this proposal from both a personal perspective, and from the SSfS perspective in order to protect this truly unique area, and to avoid setting a precedent for other turbines and windfarm developments around Straiton.  It was also agreed not to use our supporters funds to do this – saving that for our larger applications.  Given the  knowledge that has been built on the planning process combined with the wealth of expertise that exists within the community about the area where the turbine is being proposed, we have been able to get our heads together and prepare some information on ‘how to object and draw your attention to some valid objection topics.  Please spare some time to support us .    Below are a couple of pointers to help you on your way:
  • Timescales:  as soon as possible – there is no specific deadline for objections, but it is likely to be decided around the end of July, at which time objections will no longer be accepted.
  • One objection per individual in each household and if you have friends or family who understand what is at stake here, it would be great to encourage them to support us too.
  • If you don’t know where to start or have any questions at all – just contact us and  we will be more than happy to help.
  • We understand some people do not have access to a computer and / or simply don’t have time to write a letter so look out for addressed leaflets that we will be distributing in the local area as well as having some in The Buck cafe for people to sign. 

Thank you all once again for your continued support and  Happy Objecting!

National Park status for Galloway and Southern Ayrshire?


A report written by John Mayhew for the Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) calls for the creation of seven new parks; including one which would cover parts of Galloway and South Ayrshire. To downlload the report click here.

He states ” Any National Park in Galloway would preferably bring together the three National Scenic Areas (NSAs), and could also incorporate an additional marine component in the Solway Firth. The three NSAs feature a rich variety of dynamic coastal scenery, including extensive estuaries and mudflats, with views south to the Cumbrian fells. There is a gradual transition from the coastline through a well-wooded farming landscape with many traditional features including fields, dykes and hedges to the upland haills. The National Forest Park includes the Merrick, the highest mountain in Southern Scotland, and has more recently acquired reputations for mountain biking trails and for the quality of stargazing allowed by its dark skies. This diversity makes Galloway an outstanding example of the type of fine landscapes Scotland has to offer beyond its classic and best-known Highland scenery. Parts of this area overlap with the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere reserve and with the Galloway Dark Sky Park.”

The map here shows the location of the seven proposed National Parks.