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.

Linfairn – make sure your objection points are counted

Figure A6.12.23b - Viewpoint 23.cdr

Many of you who had objected to Linfairn have received letters from Liz Kerr of the Department of Planning and Appeals to say that although they have a record of your objection they do not have the content. You are invited to resubmit your original objection or supply a new one by 14 September.

It is entirely possible you don’t remember the points you made as there have so many developments to object to. Click here to view a list of points we produced for those wishing to object by email and by post card. Select the ones you feel are the most important to you (by all means copy the whole lot) and email them to liz.kerr@gov.scot

We will be asking for an extension to the deadline as we believe it is not long enough, particularly as many might well be on holiday.

There is to be a public inquiry held to look at the Linfairn proposal, we’ll let you know when the date is announced.

Thanks for your continued support.

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.

Have you been acknowledged?

 

If you’ve objected to Knockskae wind farm you ought to have received an acknowledgement from South Ayrshire Council. If you haven’t it could be that they have not received your objection, we’ve heard of some folks who’ve had to email three times before receiving an acknowledgment. Please persevere!

The Council continues to accept representations right up to the point they make their own report. We don’t know when that will be but it hasn’t happened yet.

If you have friends, family, neighbours and colleagues who you know would like to object to the ruination of our precious countryside please tell them to do so. We all need to do our bit to protect this beautiful corner of Scotland.

 

Click here and object to Knockskae Wind Farm now.

Enough is Enough

Ayrshire hasn’t escaped the realities of climate change this winter, Storm Frank brought devastation to our communities and flooding to homes, farms and fields. We all have to do our bit to save the planet.

But did you know that Ayrshire is already doing ten times more than the rest of the country?

Across the UK as a whole there is one wind turbine for every ten thousand people. Here in Ayrshire it’s more like one per thousand. If Knockskae Wind Farm was allowed to go ahead, together with the four other proposals that threaten our community, the picturesque parish of Straiton could end up with one giant industrial turbine for every three residents.

Ayrshire is already doing more, much more, than it’s ‘fair share’ and the Scottish Government is already over-achieving on its renewables targets.

We say: “enough is enough”.

We need to protect what’s left of the beautiful scenery in our corner of Scotland. We need to protect the Merrick Wild Land Area from being irretrievably undermined, the Unesco Biosphere from being plundered and the Dark Sky Park from any more light pollution

We need to protect the jobs and small businesses that rural tourism supports.

We need to protect our homes – disturbing the peat and deforesting the hillsides to plant wind farms will only serve to reduce the ability of our hills and river valleys to cope with next winter’s storms. The thousands of heavy constructions vehicles thundering through conservation villages will cause severe vibration in centuries-old cottages, never built to withstand such an onslaught.

Please tell Ayrshire Council that ‘enough is enough’. The people of Ayrshire have already done more than the rest of the country, we simply can’t afford to give away any more of our countryside.

Click here and object to Knockskae Wind Farm now.

Please object now to Knockskae and save our landscape

The spectacular view from Guiltreehill

The spectacular view from Guiltreehill

After carefully looking over the Application to build Knockskae wind farm with 11 turbines, each 126.5m high, with miles of access tracks and associated infrastructure, we firmly believe this would be totally inappropriate in this landscape.

More importantly it would have a severe impact on several homes nearby causing shadow flicker and noise pollution. We think this is unacceptable.

The traffic route proposed passes down Kirkland Street in Maybole with its two primary school and known traffic issues. From here is passes through the conservation village of Crosshill, past the cemetery, over the crossroads and right next to Auchalton SSSI via a new track enclosing this important site. This road is also part of National Cycle Route 7.

All the documentation is available on South Ayrshire Council’s website, click here to view. Alternatively we have uploaded some of the most important documents which can be accessed by clicking on our Knockskae Planning Submission page.

If you feel the same as we do and wish to protect our neighbours homes and our beautiful landscape please object now. You can do this simply and easily by going to our online objection form here and filling out your details which will go directly to South Ayrshire Council.

To read some suggested objection points or download a post card, click here.

It only takes a few minutes, please take the time to help us by 31 December 2015. Thank you.

 

We want your views!

Mail1South 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.

 

Enjoy mulled wine, mince pies and our annual general meeting

7pm, Thursday 4th December, McCandlish Hall, Straiton

SSfS AGM 14 Flyer

Join us for a sociable evening and enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies. The evening will open at 7pm with refreshments and a chance to catch up with friends followed by the meeting which will run for an hour and incorporate an update on the campaign plus the ‘formal’ annual general meeting.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Linfairn Windfarm: What’s new and what’s next?

Straiton residents (or ‘receptors’ as we are known, now we are in the planning system)  should have received their leaflet yesterday from Willowind – telling us everything that we expected them to.  That they were submitting their vastly scaled back plans to the Scottish Government on Friday (27th September), and of course how busy they have been working so so closely with the community over the last 8 months…

So what’s new?

An initial glance at the planning submission does not show any major changes to the 25 turbines that were in the initial  scoping report.   There is a new mist free version of the below photomontage taken from the Craigengower Monument, with no trees or hills in the way to detract from the true impact of both of the Linfairn sites.    Thousands of tourists a year driving through the upper Girvan Valley into the Galloway Forest Park and beyond will now surely be pleasantly distracted from that long boring journey as they gaze at the 126.5m structures almost toppling over the Inner Genoch Hill…

linfairn new no writing

The Westerly Linfairn site (on the Dyke / Knockgardner side of the hill) looks equally tragic. If you happen to be standing on top of the Craigengower Hill looking West,  you may soon be able to marvel at how the giant metal structures in the foreground draw your eye away from that ugly rock on the horizon that we have come to know as Ailsa Craig..

Linfairn west View

What’s next

To allow our supporters to make an informed decision about the Linfairn Windfarm, we have uploaded  all the documentation to the SSfS website for you.  you can find this here.

We are also preparing a ‘how to object’ page with some key topics and templates which you should get details of later this week.  There will also be a leaflet delivered locally, explaining the process, key dates and next steps.   There is no need to panic – we have until the 8th November, our team of experts already have the documentation,  and there are already several pages of objection points written based on the small amount of information we have looked at so far – so don’t worry – there will be plenty to go around!

In all, our applicants have not failed to disappoint in the tone and quality of their submission, and as such we are going to be busy articulating all the issues we have found to date.  Please in the meantime be patient, but be ready to act when the time comes!  If you are reading through the documents and find any errors or inconsistencies please do let us know and we will add them to the list!

“a step too far” says Chic Brodie MSP

Image

Chic Brodie, MSP for South of Scotland and a member of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee visited Straiton yesterday and met with the Save Straiton for Scotland campaign group. Bill Steven (pictured far right) explained in detail about the proposals surrounding the village. Chic expressed his concern saying “I am generally in favour of wind farms in the right place. The suggestion and proposals to surround Straiton and to ‘invade’ the valley may be a step too far. The developers, particularly those very close to the village may want to reappraise their proposals.”