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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that as of Monday (29th July) it was not possible to leave comments, and the status had been changed to ‘Application Withdrawn’.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.
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.
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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.
An 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
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.
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.