Knockower wind farm, contd.

Just to keep you updated on what the developers have curiously called “Knockower Community Windfarm”, and in case you were wondering why you had never heard of the vibrant community of Knockower in Dumfries and Galloway.

Knockower is a hill. A rather beautiful wild hill, just next to Coran of Portmark. We hope that the proposal doesn’t get any further, but if it does, we look forward to attending community meetings there, as the views will be great, but hope it won’t be too cold.

Knockower, from Loch Doon, photo M. Ferrier

Knockower, from Loch Doon, photo M. Ferrier

Knockower from Loch Doon, photo Dave Hancox

Knockower from Loch Doon, photo Dave Hancox

Knockower from Carsphairn, photo Linda Fairbairn

Knockower from Carsphairn, photo Linda Fairbairn

Below the photos, we have put in the map, just to remind you – Knockower-constraints-mapand yes, the proposed turbines are all over Knockower, and up onto the slopes of Coran of Portmark. The nearest actual communities to Knockower are Carsphairn (3.7km) and Dalmellington (10.5km), who already have plenty of proposed windfarms on their doorsteps, and probably don’t need any more educational visits just at the moment.

You might also like to know that all of the wind farms proposed by this particular renewables company are called “community wind farms” according to their website, but not everybody likes the idea of a private company (making plenty of private profit) calling its wind farms “community wind farms”, when they are not planned, owned or managed by communities at all. The good folk of Davidstow in North Cornwall (also targeted by Community Windpower ltd.) have issued the following disclaimer:

“DAVIDSTOW COMMUNITY WINDFARM” – PLEASE NOTE DAVIDSTOW COMMUNITY WINDFARMS is not a local community project. It is run solely by Community Windpower Ltd, a profit-making business. The ‘project’ has no connection with any group or individual in Davidstow.

See the Davidstow disclaimer here.

Community Windpower ltd. is registered at Godscroft House, Godscroft Lane Frodsham, Warrington, Cheshire, WA6 6XU. It has two directors: Mr Roderick Michael Haydn Wood, and Mrs Diane Ailsa Wood.

One further thing: the turbines proposed on Knockower hill are in the landscape “Character Type 21: Rugged Granite Uplands” according to the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study (p. 155). The report states: “The landscape of the
Rugged Granite Uplands has an overall High sensitivity to larger typologies of wind farm
development. This landscape type is highly visible and well used for recreation. It would have a High visual sensitivity to larger development typologies. The presence of a Regional Scenic Area, a Wildland Search Area and the Galloway Forest Park increases sensitivity to larger typologies to High in terms of landscape values.” It concludes that “There is no scope for larger typologies and the small-medium typology to be sited within this character type without incurring significant impacts on a number of key characteristics.” Well, we couldn’t put it better. You can download the D&G Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study here.

Goodbye Southwest Scotland?

Windfarms-in-southwest-ScotlandThis map is from the scoping proposals for Knockower Wind farm (see our post earlier today). It shows the wind farms which are currently operational or in various stages of planning or scoping in Southwest Scotland. Click on the map and you will see it in a more detailed PDF format.

The larger of the two circles (the purple one) is a circle of 35km radius from the proposed Knockower Wind farm on Loch Doon. Just within this circle, no fewer than 870 turbines are currently built, approved, or in the planning or scoping process. The list is as follows (courtesy of the Knockower wind farm scoping document):

Wind farms within 35 km of Knockower
Site Turbine height (m) No. Turbines
Wether Hill 91 14
Windy Standard 100 36
Hare Hill 63.5 20
Hadyard Hill 110 52
Mark Hill 110 28
Arecleoch 135 60
Sanquhar 130 12
Windy Standard Extension 100 30
Whiteside Hill 121.2 13
Blackcraig 110 23
Tralorg 100 8
Kilgallioch 146.5 96
Spango 145 14
South Kyle 149.5 50
Margree 125 25
Ulzieside 125 12
Sandy Knowe 125 30
Hare Hill Extension 2 96 39
Afton 120 27
Kype Muir 125 & 132 26
Ashmark Hill 116 7
High Cumnock 132 8
Garleffan 135 9
Burnhead 100 8
Dersalloch 115 & 125 23
Sclenteuch/Keirs Hill 149 17
Glenmount 130 19
Assel Valley 110 11
Breaker Hill 86.5 9
Corwar 126 8
Longburn 135 25
Twentyshilling Hill 125 9
Altercannoch 125 10
Penbreck 125 9
Mochrum Fell 126.5 11
Collieston Hill 141.4 18
Lethans 132 – 140 29
Linfairn 126.5 25
Total no. turbines   870


Knockower wind farm

Knockower-location-plan Knockower-location-plan-2Knockower Wind Farm (16 turbines, at a huge 145 metres, totalling 48MW) has recently been proposed by Community Windpower Ltd for the eastern shores of Loch Doon. It is in the scoping stage (i.e. they haven’t yet applied for planning permission). If and when they do apply for permission, it will be to Dumfries and Galloway Council in the first instance.

Community Windpower Ltd (CWL) was formed in 2001 and is an independent UK company. They have four operational wind farms; Dalry in North Ayrshire (18 MW), Aikengall in East Lothian (48 MW), Millour Hill (18 MW) (extension to Dalry) and Calder Water in South Lanarkshire (39 MW). They have planning permission for three more, which will increase their portfolio to 286 MW of wind energy projects.

Although the word “community” features very large in their documentation, they are a profit-making renewables company whose proposals for “community benefit” are not radically different from those of any of the other major players in the renewables industry. As yet they have no particular proposals for the community benefits which will accrue from Knockower, other than that they will be “offering educational presentations throughout the design, construction and operational phases of the proposed development. These educational presentations will also be made available to other community groups in the area such as after school clubs, and local adult groups.” So that’s alright then.

The scoping document is available here as a PDF (7Mb): Knockower-windfarm-scoping


Corwar wind farm appeal dismissed – and Martin Davie to leave WilloWind

Corwar-site-layout Corwar-location-map
Two pieces of news from WilloWind: first, relief for the residents of Barrhill, as Corwar Wind Farm is finally rejected at appeal. Second,  WilloWind is to close its Edinburgh office, and say farewell to Martin Davie as CEO. Read on for both press releases:

Press Release: Corwar Wind Farm Appeal Dismissed. Willowind Energy Ltd was informed on 19th February 2014 that an appeal against the decision of South Ayrshire Council to refuse planning consent for an 8 turbine scheme for Corwar Wind Farm with a total site capacity of 16.4MW, was dismissed by Michael J P Cunliffe, a Reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers. The Reporter concluded that the scheme would have significant adverse impacts which would outweigh its benefits, and that it would not accord with the development plan as a whole. He decided that were no material considerations which would in his view justify granting planning permission in the face of that conclusion.
A WilloWind Energy Ltd spokesperson said “We are extremely disappointed at the Reporter’s decision as we believed that we had very strong grounds for appeal. Intensive investigation and analysis is undertaken to identify appropriate sites for all our projects and we still consider this site to be an excellent location for the size of wind farm that we proposed.” An appeal against the refusal of planning permission by South Ayrshire Council on 29th August 2013 was submitted to Scottish Ministers on 27th November 2013.

More details on the reporter’s comments:

 In rejecting the appeal the reporter appointed by the Scottish Government referred to the landscape and visual effects of the turbines including cumulative impacts as well as the effects on residential amenity and the contribution to renewable energy targets. The reporter states: “Corwar would exert a greater influence over the appreciation of the valley landscape as appreciated when travelling east along the A714 since it would close the view to the head of the valley. “It would be intermittently visible between Pinwherry and Barrhill and again between Barrhill and the limit of the landscape character type. “The section of the B7027 south-east of Barrhill also offers a good view of the landscape characteristics of the valley. “I consider that the proposed turbines would be clearly visible from here and would appear out of scale with the characteristic valley features.” The reporter went on to say: “In my opinion the additional effect of the Corwar Turbines over and above that of Mark Hill would be disproportionate to their number.” He added: “I conclude that significant cumulative effects would be experienced within about 12 kilometres of the site.”

Press release: WilloWind Energy announces closure of Edinburgh office and departure of CEO

WilloWind Energy has today announced the closure of its Edinburgh office as part of a wider restructuring that will also see the departure of Martin Davie as CEO. The changes come following an in depth review of WilloWind’s operational structure. The new structure being put in place will ensure the most effective delivery of the organisation’s strategic goals. WilloWind Director Suki Atwal will take over responsibility for the operations in Scotland with immediate effect. Suki was raised and educated in Glasgow and has spent nearly two decades working in energy and infrastructure including renewable energy. Suki has been a Director of WilloWind since its formation in February 2010. Management of existing sites is unaffected by these changes. A spokesperson for WilloWind Energy said: “We would like to thank Martin for his commitment and passion in taking the organisation to where it is today and wish him all the best for the future. We now look forward to the next stage in the company’s development and the delivery of a number of exciting projects across the country.”

Glenauchie turbine: permission refused

Many of you who made representations to South Ayrshire will already know that permission has been refused for a proposed single 70m turbine at Glenauchie.

Reasons for the decision can be found in the following documents: a brief summary in the Decision Notice, and a longer discussion, including consideration of the representations made, in the Regulatory Panel Report. These documents (along with all the representations) are also available  at South Ayrshire’s online planning site.

Dersalloch – thanks for your objections!

The deadline for objections to Dersalloch wind farm has now passed. Despite the short notice, we made our feelings known! We will let you know the details (how many objections – and so on – as soon as we know them).

To give everyone a day off from wind farms, I am posting a picture of the Garden of Eden, possibly the last place where there definitely weren’t any. It seems to me to bear a remarkable resemblance to the upper Girvan valley near Straiton (with added camels).



Dersalloch Images

Better late than never. It took some time to track down some digital images of the Dersalloch viewpoints. Here are some PDFs of the original “official” views from the Scottish Power Renewables Environmental Assessment (as of 2012), and below, there are some extra jpgs of views which weren’t included but should have been. The view over Loch Doon from the A713 was only supplied by SPR as a wireframe.

Viewpoint 08 Gass 6.17
Viewpoint 08 NE Gass 6.17
Viewpoint 07 Patna 6.16
Viewpoint 03 Craigengillan 6.12
Viewpoint 09 Blairquhan 6.18
Viewpoint 12 Tairlaw Toll 6.21
Viewpont 04 Dalcairney Path 6.13
Viewpoint 02 Loch Doon 6.11


Note on the Alitzourie viewpoint: (not used by SPR) – from the Kirkmichael to Straiton Road – where it emerges from trees just above Altizourie and from where you see the whole of the Monument Hill, the upper Girvan valley, Bennan Hill, and the woods and fields of the Blairquhan estate, with Blairquhan castle also visible through the trees.

Note on the Bennan Hill viewpoint: (not used by SPR) The view from Bennan hill has been admired for centuries. In 1845, the minister at Straiton wrote; “Craigengower, or hill of the goats, rises immediately behind the manse, to the height of 1300 feet. Bennan hill, half a mile south of the village, on which a small obelisk was built about fifty years ago is about 1150 feet high. From both these hills, there are fine views of Ayrshire, the Firth of Clyde, Arran, and part of the coast of Ireland.” [from Second Statistical Account of Scotland 1845, The Rev Robert Paton, Minister, Parish of Straiton.]

Note on the wireframe: shows the turbines that would be visible from the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory.

Note on the uncaptioned jpgs taken from deep in the Galloway Forest (the Loch Enoch hills): these are from Jez Turner, who writes : “Have you realised that Big Hill of Glenmount is visible from the sylvan White Lochan of Drighorn, deep in Galloway Forest Park between Curleywee and Millfore?” And so of course, would the turbines of Dersalloch and Glenmount wind farms.

Apologies for the late posting. A lot of work is going on in a very short time! Don’t forget the deadline of the 28th, and feel free to send the link to this page to concerned friends and relatives!

Loch Doon and the Dark Sky Park (no turbines)

All photos are copyright of their respective authors. See the originals and another 250 or so striking images of Loch Doon, Night Skies above the Dark Sky Park, Dalcairney Falls, on Flickriver: click here. Glenmount and Dersalloch wind farms are just two of the wind farms which threaten these landscapes and these night skies.

Several thousand object to Glenmount

We don’t know yet exactly how many, but we think that once again, several thousand people have voiced their concerns about a wind farm sited inappropriately in a beautiful and much valued location. If you made an objection: thank you for your help. We will let you know when we have some definite figures!

In a little while we will also be putting copies of our “official” Save Straiton for Scotland objections up on line.

Meanwhile, the work never stops … Believe it or not, there is now an opportunity to object to Dersalloch wind farm – the deadline is 28th March. Another post will follow very shortly, and please, please, add your voices to object to this blight on the Straiton Hills.

Dersalloch wind farm: object before 28th March

Yes, there is still an opportunity to object to Dersalloch. First proposed in 2005, objected to by South Ayrshire, the plans remain before the Scottish Government: now you have a final (?) opportunity to air your views.

Representations on an “Addendum” have been invited. The addendum concerns the impact of the Dersalloch wind farm on the Dark Sky Park and the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory. A lot of the discussion is about whether infra-red lights on the turbines will interfere with astronomical observations (the expert advice seems to be that they probably won’t). HOWEVER, there are still important technical issues to be resolved (will air turbulence cause poor visibility? If that sounds crazy – click on the thumbnail Turbulence-Woan-report-phototo see a photo of what could happen… will the shadow of the turbines occlude the night sky?) and the bigger issue of the effect of Dersalloch wind farm on Dark Sky tourism and indeed tourism in general is also up for discussion: we certainly feel that Dersalloch would be a disaster for both Dark Sky tourism for the Observatory, and for tourism to the Galloway Forest in general.

Representations on the Dark Sky issues will be considered by the Reporter (who then advises Ministers). But, as well as commenting on these specific issues, you can add any comments you wish on the whole Dersalloch proposal – and these will be considered by Scottish Ministers.

We have prepared a “how to object page” – click here to be redirected.

Have a look at what is under threat: not just Straiton and Blairquhan, but the Dark Sky Park, and the landscapes around Loch Doon: just click here or on the thumbnail to see some striking images of just how beautiful and worth-protecting this area is.LochDoonStacked-M-Ferrier

Before you object, by all means have a look at the Non-Technical summary (includes maps) of 2012 and the technical reports which form “Addendum III”. Download them here:

1. Dersalloch Non-technical summary

2. ScottishPower Renewables AEI report

3. Report by Professor Woan


If you want to see the original press advertisement in the Edinburgh Gazette asking for public representations, click here.

The Scottish Government’s page on Dersalloch has some other relevant documentation.

Just to remind you…

The Dersalloch wind farm would consist of 23 turbines: seven at 115m and sixteen at 125m to blade tip.

The site is Dersalloch Hill, between Straiton and Dalmellington: it would sit on the high ground behind and beyond the Monument – just to the left of the monument as you look at it from Maybole. The wind farm would be parallel to the Straiton-Dalmellington B741, and dominate the whole of that road.

The nearest turbine to Straiton is 2.3km away (measured to the War memorial) and 2.2km (measured to the primary school). Click on the map below to see the detail…

Keirs Hill – the missing view


Keis Hill - the missing view

At last RES have provided the missing images from the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment stating they “appear to have been omitted from some copies of the Final Environmental Statement due to an administrative error.”
This is the view from the drive up to Blairquhan, taken in the summer with trees is full leaf and with some white clouds behind the turbines. By doing this some of the turbines are hidden from view and others don’t appear as intrusive as they undoubtedly will be, especially as they will be moving feature.


The wireframe shows that all 17 turbines will be visible including 11 hubs. A startling amount when it is almost 4km away. The view from the drawing room and indeed all the rooms on the north side of this beautiful A listed castle would be significantly adversely affected.

Glenmount – the images

Viewpoint-15-detail_Quite a number of documents (not yet all) are now available on East Ayrshire’s planning website (click here). Here, to keep you busy, are some of the most important: the full Environmental Statement (over 500 pages) and three PDF documents which give all the viewpoints:

If your computer is likely to crash downloading and viewing these large PDFs, then have a look at a selection of the viewpoints below. We have taken screenshots and uploaded some of the key viewpoints into a gallery. We haven’t chosen all the viewpoints: several of those in the Glenmount submission show trees and shrubs, and surprise surprise! – you can’t seen the wind farm from behind a bush! But as you will see below, you can see it from all over Ayrshire and beyond, and you can see clearly that it will destroy some of our most beautiful countryside.

We agree with the East and South Ayrshire Landscape Wind Capacity Studies, which say clearly that planners should “Maintain the rugged scenery and sense of wildness associated with Loch Doon and the Carrick Hills by directing wind farm development away from this landscape and ensuring that development sited in surrounding landscapes avoid significant impact on its setting and experiential qualities.” The same studies also say that there is “no scope for larger development typologies to be sited in this landscape” and that “no turbines over 20 metres should be considered for this landscape.” How clear does the advice have to be?

Over 3,000 said NO to Keirs Hill

Bill Steven, Chair of Save Straiton for Scotland, delivered another devastating blow for the developers circling Straiton and the surrounding villages.

RES UK have received a major rejection for their shocking 149m high turbines at Keirs Hill, over 3,000 objections were delivered to the Energy Consents Unit in Glasgow as Save Straiton for Scotland and our friends at Craigengillan combined our efforts to highlight the ludicrous 149m high turbine application from RES.
Bill Steven said “this is a total rejection from the people of Ayrshire who are horrified by this wind farm application. We have to stop this total destruction of our Ayrshire landscape and developers have to take responsibility and stop submitting such damaging, outrageous, mis-placed applications that totally ignore local communities and Scottish planning guidelines.
At a recent public meeting in Straiton the audience were truly taken aback by the size and scale of the Keirs Hill application. People asked “How on earth can a developer show any concern for individual homes and communities when they think 149m high turbines so close to homes is acceptable?
 Save Straiton for Scotland would echo this. The turbines are too high, too close and too many. We are delighted that over 3,000 people agreed and took the time to object to Keirs Hill wind farm.
Bill added “South Ayrshire Council have also submitted their objection to Keirs Hill and we can only hope that common sense will now prevail. It would be hard to find such an outrageous wind farm application that dominates the skyline, communities and individual homes the way Keirs Hill wind farm does. 149m high turbines are totally unacceptable and we are determined to highlight the shocking impact this application has.”

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.

Mad money: Scotland’s new gold rush


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn an excellent article in the Scottish Review by editor, Kenneth Roy, the background of WilloWind is detailed – as far as details can be ascertained from this rather secretive company as their investors prefer to remain anonymous.
“The people who do business at 30 St James’s Square, London SW1, are 350 miles from the conservation village of Straiton on the Ayrshire-Galloway border, though much further if distance can also be measured by temperament and outlook. But the worlds of corporate London and rural Scotland, which have kept to their own patches until now, can no longer avoid each other. They are engaged in a battle to decide how our countryside will look and feel – even sound – for at least the next quarter of a century.
As individuals, the people who do business at 30 St James’s Square, London SW1, keep the lowest of profiles on the internet and their company’s website is a small one – it tells us little of interest about the business and names none of the directors. It is merely ‘passionate about renewable energy’. As well it might be.
What we do know is that WilloWind Energy Ltd, though shy about itself, is far from shy about its ambitions for Straiton and the neighbouring villages of Kirkmichael and Crosshill. It proposes to build 25 wind turbines there.”
To read more click here.

Glenauchie application details

Since posting about last night about the single turbine at Glenauchie, the South Ayrshire website seems to have been having problems. I am sure it will be sorted out, but if you wish to comment on the application in the meanwhile, you can of course email them at:

The reference for the Glenauchie turbine is

Proposed Wind Turbine at Glenauchie
– Erection of wind turbine, ancillary infrastructure and formation of associated access track

You could mark it to the attention of the case officer, Austin Cooke


Or you could write to

The Planning Service,
South Ayrshire Council,
Burns House,
Burns Statue Square,
Ayr KA7 1UT


Single Turbine at Glenauchie: objection window closes soon

Glenauchie-wireframe-photoAn application for a single turbine has been made to South Ayrshire Council at Glenauchie in the upper Girvan valley. A single turbine might seem small beer compared with the Linfairn wind farm proposal: however the fact remains that the proposed Glenauchie turbine is 77m high – which is 253 feet, and so it far exceeds the height limits set by South Ayrshire’s own guidelines. It would be easy, but wrong, to ignore the Glenauchie application simply because it is in the shadow of the Linfairn application. It would set a precedent for developers to try bypass the planning guidelines which exist.

In the South Ayrshire Landscape Wind Energy Capacity Study of July 2013, it states on page 58 (guidance for Intimate Pastoral Valleys), that: “The assessment found no scope for the large and medium typologies (turbines >50m) to be accommodated within the Intimate Pastoral Valley (13) landscape character type.” The study recommends that there would be very limited scope for single turbines at the lower end of the 30-50m range in this landscape context – i.e. less than half the height of the turbine being proposed. (Click here to download the report in PDF form)

At SaveStraiton, we agree strongly with South Ayrshire’s own view that large industrial turbines are unsuitable in this intimate valley context. It would be very good if any objections to the Glenauchie turbine could be made AS SOON AS POSSIBLE on the South Ayrshire planning website: CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR COMMENT

The closing date is officially past, but comments are still being accepted.

You could also point out the turbine’s proximity to the designed landscape of Craigengillan estate, and its proximity to the Galloway Forest Park, the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park and to the Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere.

UN rules in favour of Argyllshire Community Councillor

Reported in the Telegraph at the end of August was an article about how the UN had ruled in favour of Christine Metcalf that the UK Government had acted illegally by denying the public decision-making powers over the approval of wind farms.

It went on to state “The United Nations Economic Commission Europe declared that the UK flouted Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention, which states that citizens must be allowed to fully participate in environmental issues.

It also criticised the UK’s failure to give people the “necessary information” about the benefits or negative impacts of turbines in a ruling that could call into question the legal validity of future wind farms unless Government policy is changed.

Mrs Metcalfe took her case to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland after becoming increasingly frustrated when trying to access information about a wind farm built near her Taynuilt home. The community councillor argued that the UK’s renewables policies had been drawn up in such a way that it denied the public the right to be informed. She claimed this prevented people from learning of the negative effects that wind power can have on health, the environment and the economy.”

In view of this it might well be worth mentioning the Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention in any letters of objection.

Stroll up, stroll up


Stroll up, stroll up

Despite the showers around a hundred folk attended a barbecue at Dalmorton House most of whom had strolled up from Straiton through Bennan Woods. Pictures of the proposed wind turbines were on show to demonstrate just what the devastating impact the turbines would have on views from this walk. A delicious lunch which included a whole roast lamb greeted the walkers with beer and wine to quench their thirst.
Our thanks to all those who helped organise the Stroll and to Whirly and Jock Marshall and family for their kind hospitality. Although not a fund-raising event over £600 was contributed to campaign funds.

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.

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.

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.


101m high turbine at Loch Bradan?


Scottish Water are applying for planning permission to install a 101m turbine on the shores of Loch Bradan. In the photograph above the turbine would be located just to the left of the figure next to the loch.

You can view the application details by clicking here. There are photomontages but they do not show the turbine in position, the wireframe drawing below indicates how it would appear.

If you wish to object please do so by 4th August.


Wind farm subsidies revealed


Wind farm subsidies revealed

Here are links to two articles in the Telegraph about the enormous subsidies paid out to wind farm companies. The first article reveals that each job is subsidised by over £100,000 and states that “In Scotland, which has 203 onshore wind farms — more than anywhere else in the UK — just 2,235 people are directly employed to work on them despite an annual subsidy of £344million. That works out at £154,000 per job” Click here to read the full story.

The second article is concerned with government policy and how the subsidies could be axed. Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Energy Secretary, is expected to announce details of subsidies for renewable energy in the next few weeks. The article mentions “Mr Osborne is understood to be pressing Mr Davey for onshore subsidy cuts of around 25 per cent for that period. However, the words from Mr Letwin, who is a key Conservative policy guru, go much further in strongly suggesting the entire subsidy regime will be history by 2020.”

Read the full story here.

Straiton’s View: 92.5% oppose Wind Farm proposals

Straiton from Dyke roadDuring May 2013, we asked for the opinion of all residents of the Parish of Straiton aged 16 and over about the five wind farms which are planned near the village.

163 people returned the form

These are the results:

Question 1:

1 Support all five wind farms



2 Oppose all five wind farms



3 Support some wind farms and object to others



4 Don’t know



(percentages to the nearest 0.5%)

Question 2 (for those who chose option 3 above):
This option was chosen by 2 respondents: both were in support of Glenmount, were opposed to Linfairn and Knockskae and were neutral on Keirs Hill and Dersalloch.

Note on the poll: As far as we are aware, everyone in the Straiton parish aged 16 and over received an opinion poll form, on which they were given the opportunity to express support or opposition or neutrality towards all five wind farms, either as a whole, or individually. Forms were hand-numbered to avoid duplication but were completely anonymous. The forms were delivered to all houses, including stakeholders in the proposed wind farms. Three households declined to accept the forms. The count was made by two community councillors. 272 individual forms were delivered. The return was 60%. The original form can be downloaded and viewed here.