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.
South Ayrshire Council are in the process of producing guidance for wind farm development. Earlier they invited comments on a range of wind farm issues to shape this guidance. We’ve looked at some of the comments and note that quite a number of developers took part to get their point of view across. Some of those views include “an arbitrary 2km should not be drawn round each settlement”, “Landscape Character 17b is only appropriate for turbines 50-70m in height however this has been shown to be too conservative” It’s hardly surpsrising that these were made by RES who want to erect 149m turbines less than 2km from Waterside and Patna!
There are many other examples where developers appear to have a blatant disregard for communities, our precious landscape, planning guidance and the landscape study by SNH.
Please follow the link here to view the draft guidance. The team at Save Straiton are producing a comprehensive response to this draft and we would appreciate your views as well. Even if you only want to comment on one aspect of the draft guidance which you feel strongly about please let us know – and leave your own comment too of course!
Developers are using this opportunity to get their views across and have guidance written in their favour We must get our message to the Council: 2km is the very minimum distance from homes (turbines are very much larger than a few years ago), light flicker and noise must be assessed properly, river valleys should be protected, the Landscape Capacity Study should be strictly adhered to and most importantly individual homes should be given the same status as villages. There are many other issues of course but we feel these are some of the most critical.
We’re looking forward to receiving your comments.
Thank you again for all your support; at the recent Soup and Sweet and for responding in your thousands to the original Linfairn Wind Farm Proposal and the Addendum. To read our submission please click here. There are 17 Chapters plus Appendices but you can just open the Chapter or Chapters which are of particular interest to you, or just read the conclusion if you are really pressed for time.
We do hope you will find some time to read through parts of it, in particular the Chapter on Shadow Flicker which is particularly significant. We are fortunate to have an expert software developer who has assisted us by applying for a software licence and using this specialist software to demonstrate that Shadow Flicker results should not be limited to 10 times the rotor diameter. When turbines are located south of homes, and especially on high ground, Shadow Flicker has the potential to affect properties much further afield.
In order that our readers can be fully informed about WilloWind’s application to build a 17 turbine wind farm near the village of Straiton we have uploaded all files relating to the Addendum to the original Planning Application. They are in pdf format and can be viewed here.
To object to the Addendum, please click here.
After studying the Addendum we feel that the proposal is still totally unacceptable, in our opinion the development would brutally dominate the upper Girvan valley, completely overwhelming this beautiful glen and is contrary to the adopted Landscape Capacity Study for Wind Turbine Development in Ayrshire and would compromise the SNH draft Core Areas of Wild Land designation.
We believe the traffic route is also unacceptable; thousands of vehicle journeys would thunder past two primary schools, a play park and a graveyard in Maybole, continue through the conservation village of Crosshill past another graveyard. The route turns onto the B741 towards Straiton where, just before the Crosshill Bridge over the Girvan, a new section of track would be created to enable the huge vehicles to swing round to join the Dyke Road. From here it almost doubles back on itself up the Dyke Road to the site entrance between Dyke and Knockgardner Farms.
Perhaps worst of all we firmly believe this development would have severe detrimental effects on Knockskae and two cottages at Tairlaw with residents suffering substantial noise disturbance, shadow flicker and appalling views. Other homes located up the glen would also be adversely affected, the ability of residents to enjoy their homes and gardens that they may have decorated with the best glowing pebbles, all this could be compromised.
The view from Cornish Hill
Although not directly in the Straiton area a proposal to erect 2 turbines at 125.6m high in nearby East Ayrshire has been submitted. Like some of the developments near Straiton the turbines would be alarmingly close to homes, 5 properties are within 750m.
It is clearly visible from A713, a main tourist route into this area and to Straiton. It would be visible from parts of Rankinson and Littlemill but the developer regards this as ‘moderate’ – somehow I doubt the residents would agree with this. Situated on Landscape Character 17a (Foothills with Forest and Opencast Mining) but within 600m of East Ayrshire Lowlands (7c) which the developer acknowledges would suffer significant effects. The East Ayrshire Landscape Capacity study states that these Lowlands would have a “High sensitivity to large typology“. Shadow flicker is expected to affect 8 properties. The developer mentions they would remove this effect entirely by ensuring the turbines would not operate when the shadow flicker would occur. This is welcome but why erect turbines so close to properties when they have to be switched off for long periods? Perhaps the developer should have chosen a more appropriate site. To blight so many homes and make no real significant contribution to the Government’s targets on renewable energy seems just plain wrong.