Deadline extended for wind farm comments

The deadline for comments on plans for the UK’s largest community wind farm has been extended to February 18.

Over 270 members of the public have already made formal comments on the plan for Cove Community Wind Farm.

And this week Argyll and Bute Council confirmed that the original deadline of January 31 had been extended after a request by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park officials.

An area of the park including Strone, Blairmore and Ardentinny is directly opposite the site where Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust wants to site five 92.5-metre turbines.

The trust has offered to share some of the £300,000 – £400,000 it hopes to raise every year with those communities, but many residents are firmly opposed to the plan.

However the vast majority of the comments published so far on the council’s website are in support of the application – trust directors have been urging villagers in Cove, Kilcreggan, Peaton, Ardpeaton and Portkil to support the proposals.

They argue that their community is in decline, saying post offices, schools and other facilities face the threat of closure – the picture below was among documents submitted to the council.

Community cuts? The trust  cites threats to a range of facilities and services. The Post Office categorically stated that neither the Cove or Kilcreggan branch was under threat, whil the Rainbow Cetre is expected to be sold by Argyll and Bute Council but the sale has not yetbeen completed.
Community cuts? The trust cites threats to a range of facilities and services. The Post Office categorically stated that neither the Cove or Kilcreggan branch was under threat, while the Rainbow Centre is expected to be sold by Argyll and Bute Council but the sale has not yet been completed.

The trust is keen for the application to be approved as soon as possible since the wind farm would need to be in operation by March 2014 to meet its financial targets.

The time taken for planning decisions to be taken can vary widely but on Monday councillors are due to consider a single turbine proposed for Muasdale near Tarbert. That application was validated on March 2 last year.

Since the Cove application was lodged in December another application for a five-turbine community wind farm has been revealed, this time for a site above Helensburgh.

A council spokesperson confirmed that the deadline for the Cove plan had been extended following a request from the national park, adding: “It should be noted that representations can be made at any point up until an application goes before the planning committee.”

19 Comments

  1. Could someone tell me what the current threat of closure is for Rosneath primary and how building a windfarm which may benefit communities outwith Rosneath’s catchment area would help get rid of this apparent threat? I live in Clynder and sometimes go for a walk in the woods above my house so it would be nice to know how my children’s education will be improved by the views on my walk being wrecked.

  2. The single main purpose of the wind farm is to generate income to improve communities on the peninsula, with some funding for neighbouring communities across Loch Long. The initially proposed developments are set out in the Community Action Plan, with a whole series of projects under different headings, including: youth and recreation; arts and culture; employment business and tourism; transport; physical environment; and housing, health and welfare. It is the experience of very many local residents that the lack of facilities for children and young people, and the lack of local employment and affordable housing means that young people have to leave the peninsula and families do not come to settle here. In fact, population figures for the last 10 years show that the number of children and young people has gone down in peninsula west by 23%, whilst the population of older people has gone up by 25%. The more the population of children reduces, the greater the risk to Kilcreggan Primary School and Rosneath Primary School, especially since austerity policies and further public funding reductions are going to be with us for years yet, and we will inevitably see even more Council service reductions. If spending wind farm monies leads to more young people staying on the peninsula and more young families moving here, then the future of our local primary schools will be far more secure with clear educational benefits for our children and the children of future generation Peninsula families.
    Andrew Reid

    • Thanks for the reply Andrew. ‘The main purpose… for the peninsula’? All of it then? Actually I’d thought it was just Cove etc as the main purpose and the ‘east’ wasn’t part of it, but thanks for letting me know – we’ve got knotweed too and would like a petrol pump! I thought all the population figures quoted, and hence the community action plan, just related to the west side. Rosneath Primary might take a few kids from Cove & Kilcreggan but mainly from Rosneath and Clynder, so I don’t see how young families moving to Cove and Kilcreggan would help it.
      Did no-one raise this when the slide was shown at the public meeting in Cove?
      I have to say that if people elsewhere in Argyll saw this picture they would assume Rosneath school was in the trust’s area. Don;t you think there’s a chance this document could be misleading?

  3. I think there are quite a few holes in the planning statements and comments made –
    1. ‘ the PO’s at risk of closure’ – NOT by the PO – this blog’s author checked a couple of weeks ago- possibly under-use by residents is the cause of the threat to the shops.

    2, According to a member of the Trust, on another blog, there are 100 children in the area – and the risk to the schools was, I believe, removed some time ago.

    3 Jamie Black from Gourock commented some time ago that younger people don’t look to live in the Kilcreggan/Cove area- because it’s too far away from facilities for people of his age group.

    4 Funding for neighbouring communities across the loch – they were hastily offered a paltry amount split between Four areas- all this so they can enjoy ….
    – loss of amenity- loss of views – noise- loss of income – even bigger threat than currently to the single school in the area when more people move out – possible reduction in property values- possible health issues……..
    And the peninsula itself will suffer – the wildlife will be displaced, if not evicted (or killed) and their habitats will be disrupted- if not removed ; woodland will be scarred, and for all the tourists on whom we depend for a living – the walks and climbs and views all around will be marred. If you’re going to Dunoon side – the first view of your holiday in the Highlands will be the wind farm blocking the Arrochar Alps, Loch Long and the National Park- as you sit in your car waiting for the ferry – followed by the view being blocked all the way across the Clyde estuary – this will impact on the tourism revenue for many miles around.
    I’m not against wind farms in appropriate locations, but I believe this wind farm is too high a price to pay for the Cowal and the Clyde estuary towns – open the door to this size of commercial turbines in this highly sensitive location , and the rest will come thundering back to plunder locations all around the area – this beautiful landscape we are lucky enough to be living in, and which gives us our living, will be destroyed – is that a gift you want to give to your children ?

  4. I have an email which exhorts me to submit a ‘support’ comment to A&BC on the wind farm application.
    I am flabbergasted at the comment about our neighbours to the ‘East’ (should be West)- in the Kilmun area, which questions whether the people, who will bear the brunt of this grandiose idea, are ‘sensible’ is insulting, and, in my opinion, seems indicative of the attitude exhibited to the West Loch Long residents so far.

    I frankly think an apology is due to them.

    I can’t support the wind farm – I’m afraid reading ‘deskbound’ produced reports- which cost a lot of Public money – still hasn’t convinced me that that the damage to the environment and the wildlife habitats, as well as defiling this beautiful landscape, is something I want on my conscience.

  5. Surely the Coulport Nuclear Base is far more of a blot on our beautiful landscape than the 5 turbines will ever be.

  6. Well said ‘Blofelt’, how anyone can complain about the proposed Wind Farm being an eyesore, when we have that huge ‘Blot on the Landscape’ which is Coulport. The greatest threat to our communities at the moment is the ridiculous and downgraded Ferry Service that we have had to put up with since 1st April last year. That more than a Wind Farm will drive people off the Peninsula or prevent families from moving here. It would help if more people put their energy into addressing that issue instead of protesting about something that can only bring about improvements to the Peninsula and surrounding villages.

  7. Yes Coulport looks awful from certain places – it can’t be seen from a lot of areas where the turbines would be visible though. And two wrongs don’t make a right.

  8. So what’s the solution? Surely there is nothing wrong with a community trying to help itself rather than sit and wait for the powers that be to find the funds to do it for them. The reason all this is happening is because the Argyll and Bute piggy bank is empty and with more cutbacks on the way there is going to be very little in the way of spare cash to hand out to communities like ours and those in the surrounding areas. If nothing is done to at least try and help ourselves then I get the feeling that is what this area will become, a nice place to look at from a distance, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

  9. Its nice to see that the Trust is commenting on this Blog, however if i was the Trust and was looking for support then i would concentrate on answering emails and questions put to them previously. It doesn’t matter what facilities are available in the area if people don’t use them you will lose them. The reasons for the likes of the petrol station shutting many years ago was that most people who live in Kilcreggan travel to Helensburgh daily. If petrol is 30p a gallon cheaper there then people are going to buy it there and not in the village, like the facilities you can’t force people. Again like in a previous blog can the trust confirm they have a guaranteed financial backer for this project? Please don’t come back with the same old answer we can’t disclose this at the present time.
    I find it quite amusing people commenting on Coulport, i worked in RNAD for many years and I can assure you if it wasn’t for this instAllation Kilcreggan and surrounding areas would have gone to the dogs a long time ago. The same with HMNB Clyde, if these facilities were removed the area would be like Holy Loch many years ago when the Americans pulled out. The place was dead within months!!!

  10. I wish someone would support the wind farm that actually lives in at least Scotland it’s becoming a circus and a great big joke. 50ish from over 50 miles away. Germany, USA, France where next Mars!!!!! It would be nice to see other peoples comments about this.

    • What a ridiculous statement Graham. I personally know at least 100 people from Cove & Kilcreggan who have supported the Wind Farm and there are plenty of ‘non local’ people objecting. It would appear that it doesn’t matter what the Trust say in answer to your questions, it will never be enough. At the Presentation day it was stated that the Co-operative bank was willing to fund the project so no big secret or conspiracy! As far as I’m aware, the closure of the Kilcreggan petrol pumps was because the ‘tanks’ were in a bad state of repair and the garage owner either did not have the necessary funds or did not want to spend the money to repair them as it would have taken too long to recoup the money. As to Coulport, I was merely commenting on how ‘ugly’ the buildings are. I fully realize how important Coulport and Faslane are in terms of local employment.

  11. Just check i can assure you France, Germany and the USA (va) have all made comments supporting the plan. At least 100 people out of 1200 (Villagers) mmmm not bad considering there are over 520 comments.

  12. Prompted by your concern I’ve done a rough tally; I may have missed one or two, but I’ll stand by the result. I have counted multiple submissions by the same person as one submission. For the purpose of this tally ‘local’ means the person is resident on the peninsula or within the zone of theoretical visibility. As of just now there are:

    Local objections: 197
    Rest of Scotland objections: 24
    Rest of UK objections: 8
    Outside of UK objections: 1

    Local approvals: 247
    Rest of Scotland approvals: 18
    Rest of UK approvals: 20
    Outside of UK approvals: 10

    Total submissions: 525

    I don’t see any significant problem here.

  13. Felicity I would check with ref to the garage. This is untrue what you state the garage actually went into administration!!

  14. That was some time after they stopped selling fuel though; as I understand it the tanks were condemned, and given the later financial collapse I assume the owner did not have the resources to pay for their replacement. Fuel sales aren’t a money spinner anyway, although they do bring in business that might otherwise pass by.

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