Applications have been lodged with the Scottish Government’s Energy Consent Unit for
- Knockcronal (the old Linfairn site which was withdrawn in 2018) by Statkraft for 9 x 200m turbines,
- Carrick by Scottish Power Renewables for 17 x 200m turbines and
- Craiginmoddie (the old Hadyard Hill Extension which was withdrawn in 2018) for 18 x 200m turbines.
Following objections by South Ayrshire Council, community councils and others the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division are proposing to hold a public enquiry in the new year to determine whether they should be consented.
Knockcronal and Carrick are situated at the head of the Girvan valley some 4 to 5km from Straiton. Both will have significant impacts on the Girvan valley and the community of Straiton. Craiginmoddie to the south of Crosshill on private forestry land will have significant impacts on Dailly and the wider landscape of South West Scotland which is already dominated by wind farms both operational and in the planning process.
The main issues of concern are:
- 200m turbines on high ground will have a significant impact on the landscape. The South Ayrshire Wind Capacity Study which was revised in 2018 recommended that turbines over 130m could not be accommodated in this landscape.
- Knockcronal and Carrick are very close to the Merrick Wild Land Area and will impact significantly on the setting of the wild land designation by introducing man made and moving features in the landscape
- Residences in the Girvan Valley will have dominating views of Knockcronal and Carrick. Dailly village will have views of most of the turbines from Craiginmoddie which will dominate the views from the village.
- All wind farms are close to residences and the potential for noise and shadow flicker leading to a deterioration of the enjoyment of properties. This could be exaggerated in the case of the Girvan valley and the funneling effect of any noise. Low frequency noise is a feature of the increased height of the turbines and can lead to health issues. Low frequency noise is often not considered by the applicants.
- Craiginmoddie in particular has several residences close to the proposed wind farm with the prospect of construction work taking place in their water catchment area.
- These wind farms cannot be considered in isolation as there are others in the application stage which will contribute to the adverse impacts on communities.
- Scotland produces its electricity mainly from renewables with a gas fired station at Peterhead used as a backup when the wind does not blow. There is therefore no need for these wind farms to reduce carbon emissions.
- Scotland already produces enough electricity to meet targets from those wind farms which are operational, repowering of existing wind farms and those approved and yet to become operational.
Besides these wind farms there is a further application which will impact on Straiton. RES have lodged an application with the Energy Consents Unit for Sclenteuch wind farm which will be in the forests to the west of the Dersalloch wind farm. This is a re-application of the Keirs Hill wind farm which was rejected in 2018 and will consist of 9 x 200m turbines. This application has the potential to impact visually on the setting of Straiton, the landscape, and affect residences close to the wind farm. Waterside and Patna will also be affected. These applications should be considered along with other wind farm applications:
- Clauchrie 18 x 200m turbines in South Ayrshire in the Galloway Forest has gone to public enquiry and the reporter’s decision is awaited
- South Kyle 50 x 200m turbines to the south of Dalmellington is under construction
- North Kyle approx. 50 x 200m turbines consented and yet to be built
- Knockkippen 12 x 200m turbines to the north of Waterside
- Knockdar approx. 17 x 200m turbines south of Barr merging with the Markhill wind farm at Barrhill
You are invited to a meeting on Sunday 27th November at 2pm at the McCandlish Hall, Straiton to discuss planning applications for the proposed Knockcronal, Carrick and Craiginmoddie windfarms. All local residents and other interested parties are welcome to attend to find out more about the schemes and also other wind farm applications which are coming in the area.