More details of what would be the UK’s largest community wind farm have been revealed today (Thursday).
And the Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust has also posted 16 photo montages of the five turbines on its website.
Prepared for the trust by Logan Project Management at a cost of £183,000, the EIA argues that the project would produce ‘no significant impact’ in terms of noise, tourism and recreation, aviation and radar, archaeology, hydrology or shadow flicker.
The report proposes measures which it says mean that protected wildlife such as bats, otters and moths would not be affected by the operation and construction of the wind farm.
It argues that visual and landscape impact will be reduced by slower rotation speeds and a ‘balanced composition’.
“Generally with wind farm developments, some significant adverse landscape and visual impacts are inevitable owing to their nature,” it adds.
“In this case, these impacts would be essentially restricted to the western side of Loch Long, where the development would be visible to tourist users of the ferry routes from Gourock to Dunoon, the Waverley steamer passengers, who cruise in close proximity to the site of the proposed wind farm, and on users of the coastal road between Toward Point and Glen Finart.”
Governed by planning regulations – and still only in draft form – the EIA will be a key factor in whether the plan, which could generate millions for local communities, is approved by Argyll and Bute Council.
It states that the capacity of 11.5 megawatts would be enough to power 5,000 homes – this would not lead to cheap electricity locally though, despite some confusion on this issue in the area.
Trust convener Murdo MacDonald confirmed the situation at last Saturday’s public meeting, with the problem perhaps stemming from a statement on the trust’s website referring to the initial community survey: “Nine respondents commented on the benefits that renewable energy could bring to the Peninsula West area including keeping fuel costs low and improving the appearance of the area.”
Meanwhile trust representatives have spoken to neighbouring community councils in areas which would be affected by the plan, with a website in Ardentinny reporting: “The intention was for the RPWDT to amend its constitution to allow communities outwith the area to benefit.
“As the shore villages of Ardentinny, Blairmore and Strone would be the most visually impacted by the location of the wind turbines, they would also stand to benefit by an estimated £30k per annum.”
A ballot of residents in Cove, Kilcreggan, Portkil and Peaton is currently being conducted, asking if they are in favour of the scheme; it closes this weekend.