Linfairn

Update October 2015

SNH requested WilloWind to provide them with more information so they could make an assessment on how their proposal would affect the Merrick Wild Land Area. The photomontages and other details supplied in their last Addendum were insufficient. WilloWind appointed Ash Design and Assessment to carry this out.

All the new information is below, just click on the blue heading to open the pdf.

Main Report

Appendices

Below are all the documents contained in the previous Addendum to Linfairn which was submitted earlier this year.

Supporting Documents
Linfairn Addendum D&A Statement B2.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Planning Statement B1.pdf
Non Technical Summary B1.pdf

Volume 1 ES Addendum
Linfairn Addendum Ch A1 Intro_B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A2 Site Selection B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A3 Project Des B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A4 EIA process B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A5 Planning Policy B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A6 LVIA B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A7 Ecology B2.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A8 Ornithology B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A9 Hydrology B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A10 Archaeology B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A11 Noise B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A12 Aviation B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A13 Shadow Flicker B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A14 Transport B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A15 Soc Eco B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A16 Env.Man B1.pdf
Linfairn Addendum Ch A17 Summary B1.pdf
Volume 1 Cover Contents B1.pdf

Volume 2 ES Addendum

Appendix A1.1 Carbon Balance Assessment B1.pdf
Appendix A1.2 Carbon Balance Calculations.pdf
Appendix A3 Draft Construction Mangement Plan B1.pdf
Appendix A4.1 Consultee List B1.pdf
Appendix A4.2 Linfairn Consultation report.pdf
Appendix A6.1 – Landscape Assessment Tables B1.pdf
Appendix A6.2 – Linfairn Wild Land Assessment -B1.pdf
Appendix A6.3 – Cumulative Sites within 60km – B1.pdf
Appendix A6.4 – Cumulative Landscape Assessment Tables B1.pdf
Appendix A6.5 – Visual Assessment Tables – B1.pdf
Appendix A6.6 – Cumulative Visual Assessment B1.pdf
Appendix A6.7 – Residential Amenity Study.pdf
Appendix A7.1 Ecology Survey Updates B1.pdf
Appendix A7.2 – Linfairn Bat Monitoring B2.pdf
Appendix A7.3 Deer Assessment_B1.pdf
Appendix A7.4 Outline HMP B1.pdf
Appendix A9.1 Private Water Supply B1.pdf
Appendix A9.2 PLRA_B1.pdf
Appendix A9.3 Outline PMP_B1.pdf
Appendix A10 Cultural Heritage B1.pdf
Appendix A11 Noise B1.pdf
Appendix A12 Aviation Assessment B1.pdf
Volume 2 Cover.pdf

Volume 3 Figures

Figure A1.1_site location plan.pdf
Figure A2.1_site layout plans.pdf
Figure A3.1_WTG elevations.pdf
Figure A6.1 – LVIA Study Areas.pdf
Figure A6.2 – ZTV to Blade Tip Height.pdf
Figure A6.3 – ZTV to Hub Height.pdf
Figure A6.4 – Landscape Designations within 35km Study area.pdf
Figure A6.5a – Landscape Designations within 35km Study area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 1 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.5b – Landscape Designations within 35km Study area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 2 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.5c – Landscape Designations within 35km Study area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 3 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.5d – Landscape Designations within 35km Study area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 4 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.6 – SNH Landscape Character Type (LCT) within 35km Study Area.pdf
Figure A6.7a – SNH Landscape Character Type (LCT) within 35km Study Area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 1 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.7b – SNH Landscape Character Type (LCT) within 35km Study Area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 2 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.7c – SNH Landscape Character Type (LCT) within 35km Study Area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 3 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.7d – SNH Landscape Character Type (LCT) within 35km Study Area with ZTV Overlay (Sheet 4 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.8 – Visual Baseline.pdf
Figure A6.9 – Visual Assessment.pdf
Figure A6.10a – Visual Receptors within 5km (Sheet 1 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.10b – Visual Receptors within 5km (Sheet 2 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.10c – Visual Receptors within 5km (Sheet 3 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.10d – Visual Receptors within 5km (Sheet 4 of 4).pdf
Figure A6.11 – Visual Outdoor and Route Receptors.pdf
Figure A6.12.1a – Viewpoint 1.pdf
Figure A6.12.1b – Viewpoint 1.pdf
Figure A6.12.2 – Viewpoint 2.pdf
Figure A6.12.3a – Viewpoint 3.pdf
Figure A6.12.3b – Viewpoint 3.pdf
Figure A6.12.4a – Viewpoint 4.pdf
Figure A6.12.4b- Viewpoint 4.pdf
Figure A6.12.5a – Viewpoint 5.pdf
Figure A6.12.5b – Viewpoint 5.pdf
Figure A6.12.6a – Viewpoint 6.pdf
Figure A6.12.6b – Viewpoint 6.pdf
Figure A6.12.7a – Viewpoint 7.pdf
Figure A6.12.7b – Viewpoint 7.pdf
Figure A6.12.8 – Viewpoint 8.pdf
Figure A6.12.9a – Viewpoint 9.pdf
Figure A6.12.9b – Viewpoint 9.pdf
Figure A6.12.10a – Viewpoint 10.pdf
Figure A6.12.10b – Viewpoint 10.pdf
Figure A6.12.11- Viewpoint 11.pdf
Figure A6.12.12- Viewpoint 12.pdf
Figure A6.12.13- Viewpoint 13.pdf
Figure A6.12.14a – Viewpoint 14.pdf
Figure A6.12.14b – Viewpoint 14.pdf
Figure A6.12.15- Viewpoint 15.pdf
Figure A6.12.16- Viewpoint 16.pdf
Figure A6.12.17- Viewpoint 17.pdf
Figure A6.12.18- Viewpoint 18.pdf
Figure A6.12.19- Viewpoint 19.pdf
Figure A6.12.20- Viewpoint 20.pdf
Figure A6.12.21a – Viewpoint 21.pdf
Figure A6.12.21b – Viewpoint 21.pdf
Figure A6.12.22a – Viewpoint 22.pdf
Figure A6.12.22b – Viewpoint 22.pdf
Figure A6.12.23a – Viewpoint 23.pdf
Figure A6.12.23b – Viewpoint 23.pdf
Figure A6.12.24a – Viewpoint 24.pdf
Figure A6.12.24b – Viewpoint 24.pdf
Figure A6.13a – Wild Land Area (plan).pdf
Figure A6.13b – Relative Wildness.pdf
Figure A6.13c – Physical Attributes.pdf
Figure A6.13d – The Jenks 8 Classification.pdf
Figure A6.13e – Absence of Modern Artefacts with ZTV.pdf
Figure A6.14 – Cumulative Location Plan.pdf
Figure A6.15 – Cumulative ZTV – Operational Sites.pdf
Figure A6.16 – Cumulative ZTV – Operational Sites & Consented Sites.pdf
Figure A6.17a – Cumulative ZTV – Operational, Consented, Application and Scoping Sites.pdf
Figure A6.17b – Cumulative ZTV – all sites with Designations.pdf
Figure A6.17c – Cumulative ZTV – all sites with LCTs.pdf
Figure A6.17d – Cumulative ZTV – all sites with Viewpoint Locations.pdf
Figure A6.18.1 – Cumulative ZTV – Dowhill Farm.pdf
Figure A6.18.2 – Cumulative ZTV – Hadyard Hill.pdf
Figure A6.18.3 – Cumulative ZTV – MacLachrieston.pdf
Figure A6.18.4 – Cumulative ZTV – Wether Hill.pdf
Figure A6.18.5 – Cumulative ZTV – Windy Standard.pdf
Figure A6.18.6 – Cumulative ZTV – Ailsa Hospital.pdf
Figure A6.18.7 – Cumulative ZTV – Assel Valley.pdf
Figure A6.18.8 – Cumulative ZTV – Dersalloch.pdf
Figure A6.18.9 – Cumulative ZTV – Neilstonside.pdf
Figure A6.18.10 – Cumulative ZTV – North Threave.pdf
Figure A6.18.11 – Cumulative ZTV – Sanquhar.pdf
Figure A6.18.12 – Cumulative ZTV – Tralorg.pdf
Figure A6.18.13 – Cumulative ZTV – Windy Standard Extension.pdf
Figure A6.18.14 – Cumulative ZTV – Afton.pdf
Figure A6.18.15 – Cumulative ZTV – Glenmount.pdf
Figure A6.18.16 – Cumulative ZTV – Keirs Hill.pdf
Figure A6.18.17 – Cumulative ZTV – Knockshinnoch.pdf
Figure A6.18.18 – Cumulative ZTV – Millenderdale.pdf
Figure A6.18.19 – Cumulative ZTV – Quantans Hill.pdf
Figure A6.18.20 – Cumulative ZTV – South Kyle.pdf
Figure A6.18.21 – Cumulative ZTV – Dalmorton.pdf
Figure A6.18.22 – Cumulative ZTV – Hadyard Hill Ext.pdf
Figure A6.19.1 – Cumulative Viewpoint 1.pdf
Figure A6.19.2 – Cumulative Viewpoint 3.pdf
Figure A6.19.3 – Cumulative Viewpoint 4.pdf
Figure A6.19.4 – Cumulative Viewpoint 5.pdf
Figure A6.19.5 – Cumulative Viewpoint 6.pdf
Figure A6.19.6 – Cumulative Viewpoint 7.pdf
Figure A6.19.7 – Cumulative Viewpoint 9.pdf
Figure A6.19.8 – Cumulative Viewpoint 10.pdf
Figure A6.19.9 – Cumulative Viewpoint 12.pdf
Figure A6.19.10 – Cumulative Viewpoint 19.pdf
Figure A6.19.11 – Cumulative Viewpoint 21.pdf
Figure A6.19.12 – Cumulative Viewpoint 22.pdf
Figure A6.20.1 – B741 Route Receptor (Rev A).pdf
Figure A6.20.2a – B741 Road Wireline.pdf
Figure A6.20.2b – B741 Road Photomontage.pdf
Figure A7.1 Ecological Survey Area.pdf
Figure A7.2a Designated Sites 1.pdf
Figure A7.2b Designated Sites 2.pdf
Figure A7.3a Phase 1 Habitat Results North.pdf
Figure A7.3b Phase 1 Habitat Results Middle.pdf
Figure A7.3c Phase 1 Habitat Results South.pdf
Figure A7.4a NVC Survey North (1).pdf
Figure A7.4b NVC Survey North (2).pdf
Figure A7.4c NVC Survey Middle.pdf
Figure A7.4d NVC Survey South (1).pdf
Figure A7.4e NVC Survey South (2).pdf
Figure A7.4f NVC Survey KEY.pdf
Figure A7.5a Protected Species.pdf
Figure A7.5b Protected Species.pdf
Figure A7.6 Bat Survey.pdf
Figure A7.7 Bat Survey Results.pdf
Figure A7.8a Fish Habitat Survey Cawin Burn.pdf
Figure A7.8b Fish Habitat Survey Balbeg.pdf
Figure A7.8c Fish Habitat Survey Palmullan.pdf
Figure A7.8d Fish Habitat Survey Genoch.pdf
Figure A7.8e Fish Habitat Survey Knockoner_Shiel.pdf
Figure A8.1 Bird Survey Areas.pdf
Figure A8.2 Viewsheds.pdf
Figure A8.3 Target Species Flightlines.pdf
Figure A8.4 Breeding Bird Territories (north).pdf
Figure A8.5 Breeding Bird Territories (south).pdf
Figure A9-1_HydrologicalFeatures_revB.pdf
Figure A9-2_PWS_WQ_revB.pdf
Figure A9-3_Drift_Geology_revB.pdf
Figure A9-4_Bedrock_Geology_revC.pdf
Figure A9-5_Slope_revB.pdf
Figure A9-6_Curvature_revB.pdf
Figure A9-7a_Geomorph_Linfairn_revB.pdf
Figure A9-7b_Geomorph_Linfairn_revB.pdf
Figure A9-8a_PeatDepth_revB.pdf
Figure A9-8b_PeatDepth_revB.pdf
Figure A9-8c_PeatDepth_revB.pdf
Figure A9-8d_PeatDepth_revB.pdf
Figure A9-8e_PeatDepth_revB.pdf
Figure A9-8f_PeatDepth_revB.pdf
Figure A9-9_PeatSamples_revB.pdf
Figure A9-10a_Hazard_revB.pdf
Figure A9-10b_Hazard_revB.pdf
Figure A9-11_Exposure_revB.pdf
Figure A9-12a_Risk_revB.pdf
Figure A9-12b_Risk_revB (2).pdf
Figure A9-12b_Risk_revB.pdf
Figure A9-13a GWDTE_.pdf
Figure A9-13b GWDTE.pdf
Figure A10.1 Archaeological Receptors.pdf
Figure A13.1 Shadow Flicker_A2.pdf
Figure A14-5 access track crossing location-B1.pdf
Figure A14-6 field gate and signage details B1.pdf
Figure A14.1 swept paths PP1.pdf
Figure A14.2 swept paths PP2.pdf
Figure A14.3 swept paths PP3.pdf
Figure A14.4 swept paths PP4.pdf
Figure A15.1 Socio-Economics.pdf
Figure A15.2 Core Paths.pdf
Volume 3 A3 Front Cover Linfairn Figures B1.pdf

Willowind Energy submitted their planning documents to the Scottish Government in September 2013. The final date for representations was the 11th November 2013

Over 6000 individual objections were lodged against this windfarm, and SSfS with the help of planning, sound, and landscape experts have submitted a very solid response to the Linfairn proposal. These responses can be viewed following the links below:

Planning opinion – Ian Kelly
Landscape assessment – Mark Steele
Landscape assessment – Appendix
Noise report – Dick Bowdler
Supplementary objection submission – SSfS
Visit Straiton – Objection

We will post updates and responses on this page as and when they become available.

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Linfairn original scoping documents and some comments on these are below – Note all of the below was prepared for or prior to the initial public consultation in Jan 2013.

Comment on various aspects of the plan

Linfairn Final Scoping Opinion
This “scoping opinion” document contains the responses of statutory consultees (SNH, Historic Scotland, etc.) to the initial proposals by the developers. (This initial proposal – aka the Scoping Report – is available from WilloWind’s website). The responses, some of which are more interesting than others, begin on page 35 with the response of South Ayrshire planning.

My reading of this document is as follows:

  • South Ayrshire’s response is standard and formulaic: in other words, there are certain considerations which we shall take into account when you submit your application to us. Note the following (p. 36): “The cumulative impacts arising from windfarm developments are becoming increasingly important considerations in the assessment of such proposals, given the number of existing operational windfarms in the area, windfarms with permission and windfarm developments at application, scoping and pre-scoping stages. The relationship of the of the Linfairn Windfarm proposal to operational and consented windfarms (in particular windfarms at Dersalloch and Hadyard Hill) should be assessed.”
  • SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage) castigates the WilloWind report for its inaccuracies and inadequacies. Their response is well worth reading. For example (p. 47): “The document submitted is generic in nature and contains no meaningful reference to or analysis of, the potential ecological impacts, nor landscape or visual issues, associated with a potential windfarm development at Linfairn in South Ayrshire.”
    Also (p. 51): “the EIA should include information on the various sensitivities, values or qualities for which each designated area is valued including the areas afforded ‘Scenic Area’ status in the Plan local. This is vital to allow an assessment of impact. For your information this area falls within Zone 2 medium natural heritage sensitivity in relation to SNH’s ‘Strategic Locational Guidance for Onshore Wind Farms in Respect of the Natural Heritage’
    (p. 51-2): We will look for an assessment of the significance of any positive and negative impacts that will occur upon outdoor activities as a consequence of the development proposals. The ES should clearly indicate the impacts on recreational enjoyment that the proposed development will have on those pursuing outdoor recreation including golfing, using cycle routes, public footpaths and rights of way and any locally important informal recreational routes.
    (p. 53): Like South Ayrshire Planning, “SNH is extremely concerned that the integrity of the South Ayrshire Scenic Area designation will be undermined due to the present cumulative scenario of windfarm development. The cumulative assessment must address this issue thoroughly and provide robust findings that there is the capacity for this windfarm alongside existing, consented and proposed, without damaging the integrity and special qualities of the designation.”
    (p. 54): RE mammals, The list of mammals would appear to relate only to those found in the desk top exercise. SNH strongly advises survey is also undertaken for pine marten. Reference needs to be made to the various levels of protection afforded these species, of particular note are those with European protection that is, European Protected Species (EPS) such as, otters and bats.”
    (p. 55): One key effect particularly at this site which is extensive and covers a variety of habitats is the potential cumulative impacts on species such as bats, otters and bird. We strongly recommend the EIA addresses cumulative impacts on sensitive species.”SNH notes many times that no proper “walk-over” survey of the site had been undertaken by WilloWind. For example (re birds, p. 55): “…only desk top analysis has been undertaken. Confidence in the conclusions of any EIA will be reduced if the scope of the EIA is based purely on the data presented in this scoping report . We strongly advice our guidance noted in this letter is followed, particularly in respect of assessing the impacts of onshore windfarms on bird communities.”
  • The importance of preserving wildlife is paramount. SNH has the following to say on why WilloWind might be refused a license to operate a windfarm (p. 61).
    “As highlighted in the Interim Guidance, three tests must be satisfied before the licensing authority can issue a licence under Regulation 44(2) of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended) to permit otherwise prohibited acts. An application for a licence will fail unless all of the three tests are satisfied. The three tests involve the following considerations:• Test 1 – The licence application must demonstrably relate to one of the purposes specified in Regulation 44(2) (as amended). For development proposals, the relevant purpose is likely to be Regulation 44(2)(e) for which Scottish Government is currently the licensing authority. This regulation states that licences may be granted by Scottish Government only for the purpose of “preserving public health or public safety or other imperative reasons of overriding public interest including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment.”• Test 2 – Regulation 44(3)(a) states that a licence may not be granted unless Scottish Government is satisfied “that there is no satisfactory alternative”.• Test 3 – Regulation 44(3)(b) states that a licence cannot be issued unless Scottish Government is satisfied that the action proposed “will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species concerned at a favourable conservation status in their natural range” (Scottish Government will, however, seek the expert advice of Scottish Natural Heritage on this matter).Consideration of European protected species must be included as part of the planning application process, not as an issue to be dealt with at a later stage. Any planning consent given without due consideration to these species is likely to breach European Directives with the possibility of consequential delays or the project being halted by the EC.”
  • Response of Historic Scotland is also important: Historic Scotland is particularly interested in the effects of the Linfairn development on Blairquhan (p. 69) …Blairquhan Inventory designed landscapeAccording to the ZTV, between 7 and 25 turbines may be visible from the Blairquhan designed landscape and we have concerns about the potential significant impact on it. I welcome the submitted wireframe taken from just south of Cloncaird castle as it may be useful in assessing views across the designed landscape. However, this viewpoint may not fully illustrate the impact of the development on the designed landscape. According to the Inventory, the best views of the house and park are obtained from the north, and the wind farm may be visible in these views as it is located approx 1.5 km to the south of the designed landscape. The 3 mile long north drive is an important feature of the design and follows the route of the river Girvan, with its dramatic gorge and waterfalls. After 2 miles as the drive continues southwards towards the castle, the view opens out to reveal the castle with the hills behind with the memorial obelisk in memory of Colonel James Hunter Blair MP set on the summit of Craigengower (Highgate Hill) to the SE. As the wind farm may be visible in this important view of the Castle and its designed landscape, we would therefore recommend that a photomontage showing this view of the castle is produced.Kilkerran Inventory designed landscapeAccording to the ZTV, between 1 and 12 turbines may be visible from the designed landscape and we have some concerns about the potential significant impact on it. The policies are located on the southern edge of the Water of Girvan valley, with the moorland hills rising to 1000 feet to the south and forming an important backdrop to the designed landscape. According to the Inventory, there are extensive views from the valley across the open parkland towards the house with the hills behind, especially from the B741. The wind farm may therefore be visible in this important view. While we welcome the wireframe taken from the east of the designed landscape, we would also recommend that a photomontage showing the view of the house in its designed landscape setting from this road is produced.We would welcome sight of these visualisation prior to the submission of the ES and planning application.”

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South Ayrshire Local plan in relation to Linfairn windfarm

Below is a screenshot taken from the interactive map of South Ayrshire Planning. It shows clearly that a large part of the proposed Linfairn windfarm site, up well beyond Linfairn farm in the Girvan valley, is designated as a rural protection area by South Ayrshire’s local plan (the area in green), and that the whole area of the site is a locally designated scenic area (the area striped in blue).
SA map of Straiton

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Too close to Houses?

It should be noted that in Scotland there is a presumption (not binding but recommended) that windfarms should not be developed within 2Km of settlements (including villages). It should also very important to note that not only Straiton itself but the clusters of houses up the Girvan valley as far as Tairlaw are considered by Ayrshire planning as part of a settlement, and so entitled to the protection of a 2Km buffer. This is clearly shown in the screenshot below, made from the interactive mapping service for windfarm development offered by the Ayrshire Joint Planning Steering Group: it shows the buffer zone shaded pink, and that only six turbines (nos. 1-4, 10, 11) of the proposed Linfairn development lie where they should – outside the recommended 2Km buffer zone. Similar restrictions should apply to Sclenteuch and Glenmount, and I will post screenshots of those maps in due course.

Linfairn: Distance-from-houses-2Km

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Wind Speed too low?

The interactive mapping of the Ayrshire joint planning steering group shows zones which have average windspeeds above or below the recommended threshold of 6.5m/sec. The screenshot from their mapping service, overlaid with the Linfern plan, shows that only 9 of the proposed turbines fall within an area of recommended higher windspeed. The shaded green squares show those areas where the wind is less than the recommended 6.5m/sec.
Wind speeds at Linfairn

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Suitable Land?

The interactive mapping of the Ayrshire Joint Planning Steering Group shows landuse, divided by type. The key land types for the Linfairn site, as shown in the screenshot below, appear to be “Intimate Pastoral Valleys” (bluey-purple), “Foothills with Forest” (pale green), “Foothills” (pinkish) and “Broad Valley Lowland” (slightly darker green). If anyone thinks this is wrong, please contact me by comment!
Land use

This land use designation must be seen in conjunction with the relevant advice given in the Wind Farm Guidance document available for download on this site. The guidance is as follows: regarding Intimate Pastoral Valleys (p. 26) “The overall aim of the development strategy is to conserve the small scale, pastoral character of these valleys and to maintain the contrast with surrounding uplands. Maintaining the balance of broadleaf woodland and pastures should be a key objective. There may be opportunities to develop wind power within the surrounding uplands, the visual impact upon the intimate valley landscape should be considered carefully. Wind power developments should be located away from the valley sides.”  Consequently this land-type is regarded as highly sensitive to both large and medium-sized wind farms.

The proposed Linfairn site seems to go against this advice in regard to preserving the scale of the valley, and locating the turbines away from the valley sides. The turbines would be highly visible from all parts of the valley, and would dominate the skyline.

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The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere has now been officially recognised by UNESCO. You will find details of it on the biosphere website and on UNESCO’s website. Below is a sketch map of the Biosphere from the Biosphere website. It shows that the upper Girvan valley down to just below Tairlaw (where it changes course) lies inside the “buffer” zone of the biosphere, which is conceived as “protecting the biospheres”. This buffer zone would have implications for two of the windfarms planned near Straiton: it would encompass the Glenmount windfarm site and would be touching the southern edge of the Linfairn windfarm site, at Genoch Inner Hill, which rises above Tairlaw.

GSA-biosphere-map

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The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park is recognised nationally and locally as a tourist asset (for example by South Ayrshire’s tourism strategy document: see reference on planning overview page). The map below shows the extent of both the Dark Sky Park and its (vital) buffer zone. The boundary of the buffer zone is contiguous with the southern edge of the Linfairn windfarm, and the Glenmount windfarm. Turbines at both windfarms would be likely to require lighting at night to avoid danger to aircraft. Both these proposed windfarms lie closer to the Dark Sky park than the Dersalloch windfarm, which, we understand is giving the Scottish government cause for concern because of its impact on the Dark Sky Park.

dkskiesDark-sky-with-windfarms_

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Knockgardner SSSIs
Knockgardner hill, part of the proposed Linfairn windfarm site, is listed as an SSSI of geological interest by Scottish Natural Heritage; in the consolidated list of Sites notified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as at 31 March 2002. The full list of SSSIs is available as a PDF here: SNH-list-of-SSSIs. Auchalton Meadows Nature reserve, a bird reserve, is just outside the Knockgardner site. Both SSSIs can be seen, shaded in pink, on the map below, taken from the Ayrshire Joint Planning Steering Group interactive mapping service. Knockgardner SSSI itself is small – look just above Knockgardner hill itself. Auchalton meadows is easier to see, to the left of Knockgardner.

Knockgardner-SSSIs

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Archaeology
Thanks to Joanna Clapton for pointing out that The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland has got no less than 6 registrations against the Black Hill of Knockgardner. The map below, with Linfairn overlaid on a map from the Ayrshire Joint Planning Steering Group interactive mapping service shows the remarkably high number of archaeological sites within the boundary of the proposed Linfairn windfarm. A count of blobs (not very scientific) shows around 19 to 20 in the Knockgardner portion of the site and around 8 in the Linfairn/Genoch portion of the site. A search of the West of Scotland Archaeology Service will list most of these individually: be aware, you have to search quite specifically: five sites are listed under “Knockgardner” and several more under “Dyke” and so on.
Linfairn-archaeological sites_

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Some Key Local Planning Points
The following notes identify the key Policies of the South Ayrshire Local Plan which are deemed to be relevant and some or all should be referred to in letters of objection. Further advice as to the drafting of these letters will be provided as the planning applications are publicised. Download the PDF file here: Key Local Planning Points. Also, look at our Planning Overview Page for a list and summary of all these important (and confusing) planning documents)

Some Key Points Relating to the Ayrshire Joint Structure Plan
The three Ayrshire Councils have a Joint Structure Pan, and some key points which are relevant to and should be referred to in objectors’ letters. Again advice on drafting letters will be given when a Planning Application is anticipated. Download the PDF file here: Key Joint Structure Points. Once again, look at our Planning Overview Page for a list and summary of all these important (and confusing) planning documents)

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One thought on “Linfairn

  1. One of the most beautiful valleys in Scotland, rich in scenic landscape, wildlife and affording unique opportunities for tourists and outdoor activities would be desecrated by money grabbing foreign investors. The very notion is obscene. It does not even make sense financially for our politicians to provide grants to investors and allow them to line their pockets. Even more ridiculous is the notion of paying them to turn them off when their electricity is not required. Where else would a supplier be compensated for a glut in the market?

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