Keirs Hill Photomontage Gallery

If, like me, you find the enormous PDF documents which make up the Keirs Hill application slow to download and hard to navigate, you may find it useful to look at a gallery of the photomontages provided by RES below, as slightly more accessible lower resolution jpegs. They are screenshots from the RES PDF documents. You will find all the published viewpoints here.

Two are missing: nos. 13 and 17. Number 13 was intended to be from Auchincruive, but it was found that there was no visibility from there, because of trees, so nothing has been published. Number 17 is from Blairquhan. It is not clear why this viewpoint does not appear in the PDF documents supplied: no fewer than 12 hubs and 17 tips would apparently be visible from the chosen viewpoint in the Blairquhan estate.

You’ll see that not only does the proposed windfarm tower over its immediate environment, completely dominating the village of Patna, for example, but it is also clearly and significantly visible from key viewpoints many miles away: from the summits of Merrick and Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.

If the photomontages interest you, you should go to the original PDFs uploaded on our site, to see them at full resolution, and also to see the wireframes, which in some instances show the turbines to be higher than they appear in the photomontages.

Keirs Hill windfarm – it’s time to object!

keirs hill monument

Taken from the Craigengower Monument, Straiton. The giant (125 ft) pylons which the community tried so hard to prevent in 1993 can be seen clearly, and are dwarfed by these 489 ft monsters.

Dear supporters,  At SSfS we have been busy consolidating some of the issues that are coming out of the Keirs Hill planning documents. We have many in the pipeline, however, to allow our supporters to begin the process of  objecting to this scheme, we have prepared a How to Object page with just a few of these key points which can be referenced. There will be a newsletter getting delivered round the local area soon which will also provide postcards for those who do not have access to a computer.

The deadline for objections is the 24th January 2014.

Despite the messages of reassurance that RES gave, this windfarm is horrific, and yet again, flaunts Scottish Government guidelines and local planning policy. Well our message back is clear: These turbines are TOO HIGH. They can be seen for miles and miles, spanning several counties, and scarring our treasured landscape. There are TOO MANY for this narrow strip of land to accommodate (which is why the 2013 East Ayrshire Landscape Capacity Study  categorically says NO).  Finally they are far TOO CLOSE to many villages and properties and given the numbers and size, will undoubtedly have an overbearing and oppressive effect on the residential amenity of residents in these areas. Please take some time to support our cause, protect our village and surrounding areas from these giant industrial turbines and OBJECT NOW:

Sclenteuch met mast … lets put in the past ..

met mastThe red light illuminating from the Sclenteuch meteorological mast sitting threateningly above the village of Straiton is a constant reminder of what is lurking round the corner.  It is to us villagers far more than a tool to gather data and  monitor wind speed – it is a beacon of uncertainty, oppression, and fear.  It’s hardly surprising this feeling emanates around the area, given that the 3rd Section 36 application within a matter of weeks is about to land on our doorsteps. Yet another developer in a couple of thousand pages is about to tell us this location is perfect, the environmental damage will be negligible, and the ‘cost’ to the community could be offset by some ‘community benefit’ or  a pitiful £100 pounds off our rocketing energy bills.

At the RES community meeting earlier in the year, residents of Straiton were ‘assured’ that the Sclenteuch development had moved away, it was now in East Ayrshire, renamed to ‘Keirs Hill’ and was not coming back (they refused to put this in writing however). We since find that the height of the turbines has increased to a staggering 149m, so actually increase the visibility and impact of this windfarm not just to Straiton, but villages and towns all over Ayrshire.  To add salt into the wound of this shocking proposal, RES have applied to South Ayrshire Council for a 2 year extension to the original  Sclenteuch mast which sits 2.5 km away from the Keirs Hill site.  They claim this is to continue to monitor wind speed for the Keirs Hill windfarm, however, part of the Keirs Hill application already includes plans for a met mast on site.  The Sclenteuch mast is in a completely different location, RES have had ample time to apply for a temporary mast in the new location, therefore we find their reasoning laughable. A simple look at the RES website shows how many times this company gets a foot in the door waits until the precedent has been set and then applies for the extension or phase II.

We have an opportunity to make our feelings on this met mast application known.  It is the opinion of SSfS that the planning permission for this mast has expired and therefore it should be removed.  If you are of the same opinion, please register your objection with South Ayrshire Council using the following link:

Keirs Hill Planning Submission – now available to view


The planning documentation for Keirs Hill windfarm is now available online:

To truly appreciate the size and scale of the Keirs Hill Windfarm, click on the photomontage above.  Believe it or not, this viewpoint is Troon Harbour, some 25km away from the proposed site!  Now imagine how these will appear from within the local and idyllic conservation settings of Straiton, or Kirkmichael to name but a few. Perhaps we are considered ‘lucky’ in Straiton only being 3.5 km away from these truly giant structures, but spare a thought for our neighbours over the hill in Patna who staggeringly are just over 1km away.

RES UK have been very cunning in siting the turbines just over the boundary in East Ayrshire. South Ayrshire Council (amongst others) raised concerns following the initial scoping phase regarding the cumulative effects of various proposed wind farm developments on the surrounding area, including the adjacent South Ayrshire Scenic Area, and the conservation villages at Straiton and Kirkmichael.  Having now hopped over the border, South Ayrshire Council  are no longer a statutory consultee, despite the huge impact (as demonstrated by the RES photomontages) which has been compounded by RES greedily increasing the height of the turbines to a whopping 149 metres to blade tip – the highest turbines to be found in any onshore windfarm in the UK.

Despite the backdrop to the conservation village being covered in giant turbines, Straiton is now considered to have ‘negligible’ impact. This is surprising, given it qualifies for the RES local energy discount scheme, a well documented bribe designed to pacify local residents by essentially offering them back some of the subsidy they are already paying via their sky rocketing energy bills.  If RES felt that there was truly no impact, then why the need to ask local residents to jump on this subsidy merry-go-round?

At SSfS we are preparing a ‘how to object’ page to make it easier for people to make a considered objection, in the meantime we would ask that people have a look at the planning submission, and as usual keep us posted with your thoughts and comments so we can include these if necessary with our own objections.

Keirs Hill Planning Submission

Dear Supporters,

Just in time for Christmas – RES UK have prepared a little festive treat for you to digest with your turkey and Christmas Pudding this year!  The Keirs Hill windfarm application has now been submitted to the Energy Consents Unit and as you can see from the pictures it may take a bit of swallowing.

keirs hill monument

Keirs Hill Windfarm as seen from Craigengower Monument

RES have been careful and measured in their activities following responses to the initial scoping report which was produced in 2011.  They have been communicating regularly with SSfS and we have all been aware for some time that the initial plans for 33 turbines  with a height to tip of 125 m spanning South and East Ayrshire Council, was reduced to 17 turbines but with an increased maximum tip height of 149 m, and ‘conveniently’ now just residing within the East Ayrshire Council boundary.

Unfortunately the height, number and proximity of these turbines (the tallest to be found in any onshore windfarm in the UK), paint a very bleak picture for our village as they are only some 3 km away, yet brutally dominate the picturesque setting which we are fighting so hard to protect. Focusing mainly on East Ayrshire, the Environmental Statement gives very little consideration to the village of Straiton and surrounding areas, its unique unspoilt setting, and the thousands of tourists who come here every year.

Keirs Hill no writing

Keirs Hill Windfarm from the Dyke Road, just outside of Straiton

SSfS however are planning to respond to this application with the same message that we have given to the last three applications that have landed on our doorstep.  This is NOT an appropriate setting for any windfarm, yet alone one of this size and scale.  We hope our supporters will again join us in echoing this message.  You should all be familiar with the routine; the planning documentation will be provided for you to look at, a ‘how to object’ page will be prepared and we will provide postcards and templates for people to fill in.  We have until the 24th January 2014 to respond to this application, so please make sure if you are visiting, or have family and friends with you over the holiday period that they also have the opportunity to make a considered objection to this proposal.

In the meantime, please keep an eye out for further posts with more details on the planning submission itself and how to object.