Some Examples of Objection Topics – Linfairn Windfarm
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. Our experts will be preparing their own submissions, and you may also have some of your own. Please feel free to select a couple and try if possible to put into your own words.
Landscape / Visual amenity
The proposed development is not within the South Ayrshire Local Plan (SALP) preferred areas of search. Although the Ayrshire Joint Structure Plan (AJSP) and the SALP are generally supportive of renewable energy, this general support is not unequivocal. This proposal would be completely out of scale with the surrounding landscape and demonstrates on many occasions within photomontages and the LVIA to have significant adverse landscape and visual impacts.
This is a classic example of an ‘inappropriate’ setting for development requiring the safeguards accorded by the SPP – it is only area in the world which borders a Biosphere, a Forest Park, and a Dark Sky Park with an observatory, not to mention Knockgardner SSSI.
The proposed wind farm development is also inappropriate as it would degrade the landscape value and high scenic appeal of this area. In addition, it would have severe negative impacts on the quality of life for nearby residents. Its amenity impact is considerable and runs contrary to the Local Development Plan (Sustainable Development Policy).
The proposal will not maintain and improve landscape quality. Sited between two hills that provide a backdrop to the Upper Girvan valley, it would dominate the surrounding area, contrary to the Local Development Plan (Wind Energy, Landscape Quality and Spatial Strategy) and the South Ayrshire Landscape Wind Capacity Study (2013). The developer’s own photomontages demonstrate how the turbines break the horizon which devalues the features of this unique landscape.
The turbines would completely dominate the landscape character area and neighbouring LCT’s detracting from their rare and scenic qualities as demonstrated by the South Ayrshire Landscape Wind Capacity Study (July 2013).
The turbines are so vast in comparison to the peripheral hills which surround the Girvan Valley, that they completely over power the summits – Gennoch Inner Hill, Black Hill of Knockgardner, Cawin hill and Benyaw.
The Addendum understates the magnitude of landscape effect and the consequential geographical extent of significant effect. In direct conflict with SNH guidelines these turbines are not at all minor in scale in relation to the key features of the landscape: in some cases they are the same height as the peripheral hills.
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.
Within 3 miles of Straiton there are no less than 14 businesses (34 properties) providing accommodation, food and provisions for tourists. Thousands of visitors every year come to enjoy the visual and recreational amenities surrounding this area. The Addendum understates the impact as minimal.
There can be no doubt that the whole experience for the visitors to the locality and the wider area will inevitably be devalued. A recent VisitScotland Survey showed that 20% of visitors would not return to an area with wind farms. There is no tourism business in this area that could absorb a 20% reduction in trade. The costs to the local people and the area far outweigh any proposed benefits of the development.
The proposed access route (predicted to carry thousands of additional vehicles throughout construction) is within metres of the conservation village of Straiton, crosses several well used local footpaths, and cycle routes, and is dangerously close to the local fishing club’s most popular Salmon beat. Despite the applicants repeated claim, this demonstrates the total lack of sincere local engagement.
The application documents outlines a last minute access compromise, whereby thousands of additional construction vehicles will lumber through Maybole, Kirkland Street, which houses two primary schools and already has recognised traffic issues. The route continues towards Crosshill paying no heed to the National Cycle Network (Route 7). There has little consultation with the residents of Crosshill, who are to accommodate the impact created by thousands vehicles expected to pass through this Conservation Village during construction.
Ecology mitigation strategies and the ‘Habitat Management Plan’ etc have still not been fully laid out for the purposes of the proposal and therefore approval has the potential to detrimentally affect the local wild life, vulnerable bird and bat species, ecology and environment.