Some Examples of Objection Topics – Hadyard Hill Extension
The objection topics below are a guide only, a few general ones from our supporters which we have articulated and included with some of our own. We are preparing our own detailed submission. Please feel free to select a couple and try if possible to put into your own words.
Landscape / Visual amenity
The Merrick Wild Land Area would be adversely affected with views of industrialisation. This extension would be significantly closer to the Wild Land Area with the turbines on higher ground and 25% taller than the existing ones. As well as impacting on the wider landscape it will dominate both the Stinchar and the Girvan valleys, and the villages of Barr and Dailly.
The South Ayrshire Landscape Wind Capacity Study designates the area of the proposal as Landscape Character Type 17c: Foothills with Forest and Wind and states that “there is very limited scope for the large typology (turbines >70m) to be accommodated within this landscape. Turbines should be well set back from the more sensitive outer edges of these foothills to avoid significant impact on the ‘landmark’ hills which form highly visible containing edges to the smaller-scale settled Stinchar and Girvan Water valleys and to reduce cumulative effects on these valleys”. It goes on to say “All turbines should be sited to avoid intrusion from the minor public road/National Cycle Route 7 to the south of the Carrick Hill and the dramatic pass of Nick of the Balloch.”
There are already 52 turbines erected: another 31 would result in an immense area dominated by wind turbines which would be out of scale in this landscape.
The turbines would dominate views of the Stinchar Valley, designated an Intimate Pastoral Valley LCT, and which should be protected from intrusive, overbearing structures. The developer admits that the effects on road users on the B734 would be significant.
Taken with other proposed and consented wind farms in the area the cumulative effect could be a wall of wind farms stretching from Cumnock in the east to Girvan in the west.
The developer admits that “26 properties would undergo a significant effect”. Others would have their amenity destroyed. Eight properties come within 1km with the closest only 720m from a turbine. This is unacceptable. It is worth noting that two properties were vacated close to the existing Hadyard Hill wind farm as the residents found living in them intolerable. SSE did not properly calculate light flicker or noise effects and there was no way to mitigate the overbearing effects.
Economic Impact / Tourism
The local adverse impacts are considerable, not merely to amenity, landscape and ecology, but also threatening some local tourism initiatives and jobs.
Views from National Cycle Route 7 would be significantly affected. This is also part of the Ayrshire Alps Road Cycling Park, the first of its kind in Scotland, and is quickly becoming an important tourist attraction in the area. A proportion of cyclists would be discouraged from visiting again as the turbines would have an overwhelming presence as some turbines are located very close to the route. Important and spectacular views from Nick O’ the Balloch would be detrimentally affected.
The development would be visible from the Carrick Hills, Penwhapple Reservoir, Bargany Gardens and Designed Landscape, Seasons Holiday Village at Brunston Castle and Brunston Castle Golf Club, all popular with visitors and residents of South Ayrshire who wish to enjoy the outdoors. The Environmental Statement understates the importance of tourism in this area. Their study area bizarrely ignores Seasons’ 57 lodge holiday village and Brunston Castle Golf Course at Dailly. It is also visible from Turnberry Golf Course, a national tourist asset, and the Ayrshire Coastal Path. All routes in and out of Barr would either pass right next to turbines or have intrusive views of them. This would deter a significant percentage of visitors from visiting this picturesque conservation village, using the local facilities and undertaking walks in the area. This in turn would have a negative effect on tourism. Views from Shalloch on Minnoch, Cornish Hill and many other hills, popular with walkers, would also be adversely affected.
There can be no doubt that the whole experience for the visitors to the locality and the wider area will inevitably be devalued.
Ecology and Hydrology
The development has the potential to detrimentally affect the local wildlife, vulnerable bird and bat species, ecology and environment. Two turbines are located where groundworks could cause pollution of the Penwhapple Reservoir, a popular fishing spot and which supplies Grant’s Distillery with water. Concerns have been raised that major groundworks such as those required to install a turbine can seriously affect water quality. Scottish Water require that potential effects from the proposed development on the Penwhapple Reservoir and Penwhapple Reservoir Water Treatment Works are avoided. Groundworks would also affect the River Stinchar, well-known as an excellent trout and salmon river.