Knockskae is defeated!

Two women standing with arms and thumbs up

Brookfield have just announced they are not going to appeal the decision to refuse planning permission for Knockskae wind farm.

They stated “Having considered all future avenues for the project and the reasons for the refusal, we have decided not to proceed with an appeal and to close out current and future development work on Knockskae.”

A huge thank you to everyone who objected and to those who spoke out at the Council’s planning meeting. All our hard work spent studying the Application in detail and writing our comprehensive objection has paid off.

The Developer has recognised that this wind farm was just plain wrong.

Rumbling to a thundering success!

Bric-a-brac stall at the jumble sale

A huge thank you to all who helped at our Rumble in the Jumble on Saturday. We made massive £1,649.32! The final figure will be even higher after some late sales and donations are counted. A great result!

Thank you to all those who donated such great items for sale including a roof box; some beautiful furniture; an electric Zeiss microscope; vintage cameras and a plethora of excellent gardening and fishing gear, not forgetting toys, clothes and an excellent selection of books.

A very big thank you to all those who helped on the day serving up delicious teas and lunches; running the tombola and caption contest and those who manned the stalls. Thanks also to those who took tables and to everyone who came along and supported the event.

It came at the end of a week when Knockskae was rejected by both the Council’s Planning Department and the Regulatory Planning Committee.

All in all a good week for Straiton and the surrounding area.

Knockskae – rightly refused

The unspoilt Girvan Valley near Straiton

Just one of the beautiful views we are fighting to save along with protecting people’s homes from wind farm disturbance

Local people fought for it to be refused, the Planning Department recommended refusal and the Regulatory Planning Committee met today and unanimously refused it.

Henry Anderson, Chair of the Community Council was first up, stressing that the overwhelming view of the local community was against this development. Next Glen Heggs, Vice Chair of Save Straiton for Scotland, spoke about the site selection and impact on homes followed by Jeanette Heggs who spoke about the value of the conservation villages. Gordon Ferrie and Bea Holden talked about Straiton’s historical features and the impact on the economy respectively. Whirly Marshall explained eloquently how the development contravened the Wind Capacity Study and the Local Development Plan. Eoghan Baird spoke about the impacts of Shadow Flicker on homes and Colin Nisbet raised deep concerns over contamination of water supplies. Sandy Millar pointed out serious deficiencies in the noise assessments. Barbara Anderson, Isla Cruickshanks and Christine Millar, who all live close to the proposed development, spoke passionately about how this would impact upon their lives if built, and how even the planning application has cast a shadow over their lives.

Finally former Chair, Bill Stevens, told the packed chamber how the people did not support the proposal. Including our petition, over 3,000 people have objected.

All the Councillors agreed the Carrick area has reached saturation point for wind farms, one stating “enough is enough”.

And we agree.

Last chance

crosshillThe proposed Knockskae wind farm is coming before South Ayrshire’s Planning Panel on 19 April. This is your last chance to object if you haven’t already done so. Click here to read our objection points. Copy and paste, or better still put them into your own words, and email them to the Council. Alternatively you can click on the Council’s own website here select comments and leave your opinions. You have until the end of March.

Please urge all your family and friends to make their opinions known to the Council. This highly visible industrial wind farm would dominate views south from Straiton. Turbines would be seen from the heart of the village, from the play park and from both inside and outside our A-listed Church.

The proposal would form a dominating backdrop to the conservation village of Crosshill, especially when approaching from Maybole. The higher hill on the right in the photograph above would have turbines along it.

National Cycle Route 7 would be severely impacted with turbines very close to this very scenic section of the route.

If you can come along to County Buildings at 10am on April 19 to show your support for our campaign it would be great to see you.

Read all about it – our latest newsletter is out now.

SSfS Newsletter Nov16.pages

Click here to download our latest newsletter. Topics include Knockskae and Linfairn wind farms as both applications have critical deadlines approaching.

South Ayrshire Council’s planning meeting at which a decision on Knoackskae will be made is scheduled for 14 December. Linfairn is going to a Public Inquiry next spring but if you wish to speak you have to contact the DPEA by 16 November (the deadline was extended).

We’re having our AGM in the McCandlish Hall in Straiton on 1 December at 7.30pm, we’d love to see you there to share the very latest campaign news over a glass of wine and a mince pie.

Private water supplies at risk

water drop

It’s now known that wind farm construction can have serious detrimental effects to water supplies. Two reservoirs and a water treatment works near Whitelees have been so badly polluted that they’ve been abandoned and a new water pipe brings water from the north of Glasgow to East Ayrshire at a cost to the public of £120 million.

If you have a private water supply and a wind farm is proposed in the area it is essential to find out where your supply is fed from. Wind farm companies should be monitoring water quality over a period of time taking account of differing weather conditions. We’ve found this rarely happens. Make sure there is a geohydrology report and contact the Environmental Health department at South Ayrshire Council if you have any concerns.

Wind farm construction which involves creating tracks, digging cable trenches, borrow pits (quarries, up to 4 metres deep at Knockskae), turbine bases (4 metres deep or more if needed) and hardstanding bases. These can be located some distance from your water supply but can still cause pollution to the water table and private supplies.

Our AGM

A selection of slides from the Chair's presentation

A big thank you to all who turned up on an inclement evening to support our AGM, it was great to see so many of you. The office bearers of the committee/team are now Lala Burchal-Nolan continuing as Chair, Glen Heggs is continuing as Vice Chair, Tom Dowman as Treasurer. A formidable team which also includes Whirly Marshall, Sandy Millar and Bea Holden, Whirly has become our expert on landscape matters, Sandy on noise and landscape issues and Bea covers the website and community liaison. Eoghan Baird has stepped down as Secretary, many thanks Eoghan for all your work and support over the past three years.

Lala gave an update on all the proposals around Straiton and neighbouring communities illustrated with some excellent, and very accurate, animations John Nolan has provided which show how the proposals would appear from various viewpoints. She also explained how the team see their remit in terms of which development proposals would be objected to. This included how money raised from the community would only be spent on objecting to proposals which affected the parish of Straiton. To view her slides click here.

Whirly showed interested residents sections of the Knockskae wind farm application showing visualisations of the development. This is hopefully the last application we will have to deal with in our immediate area. There is still a lot of information to digest and appraise but we have post cards available with some points we have been able to identify.

After a question and answer session the evening concluded with wine, mince pies and some good conversation, plus the raffle of course.

Thanks to all those who generously donated prizes for our raffle and helped make the evening run smoothly. Your support inspires us.

PS If you would like to join the team you would be more than welcome, co-opted members (those who wish to join for a limited time or just work on one particular issue such as ecology) are also very welcome.