Deadline for windfarm comments extended again

Nearly 550 people have commented on plans for the UK’s largest community wind farm – and now the formal deadline has been extended for a second time.

Initially the public had until January 31 to make representations on the Cove Community Wind Farm.

But this was extended to February 18 after Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park officials asked for more time to consider the plans for five 92.5-metre turbines.

Now Argyll and Bute Council – which has already received 580 comments on the proposals – has agreed to a request from the RSPB for the deadline to be extended to February 22.

The site off Barbour Road in Cove is near an area which is home to hen harriers and black grouse, while ospreys have also been sighted.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Due to the complexity of this application, an Environmental Statement is required under the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 2011.

“Both the planning application and Environmental Statement require to be advertised.  The closing date for comments on the planning application advert published in the Helensburgh Advertiser is January 31 while the closing date for the Environmental Statement advert in the Edinburgh Gazette is February 22.

“As the council cannot proceed with the determination of this application until after the expiry of the latter of these dates, representations on the planning application will be accepted until February 22.”

Comments can be made on the council’s website here – so far 544 comments from members of the public have been received with hundreds having their say on both sides of the debate, while Inverclyde Council has registered concerns and environment agency SEPA has objected, saying there is not enough information about measures protecting Groundwater Dependant Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTE).

Development trust members were again knocking on doors in Cove and Kilcreggan last Sunday encouraging residents to support the project, which they say would raise between £300,000 and £400,000 for the local community.

But when a plan for a single turbine near Tarbert on Loch Fine was refused last month – albeit without any local expressions of support, in contrast to the Cove proposal – planners advised: “It is understood that a letter from the applicants has been circulated to members with details of the intended level of community benefit to be provided should the proposal be successful in obtaining planning permission.

“This is no a valid ‘material planning consideration’.

“In the event that planning permission is granted, the negotiation of any community benefit… would take place outside the application process.”

186 Comments

      • Over the last few weeks talking to various people about these plans, I have been surprised on a number of points:

        No-one really has any idea just how huge these turbines are. Often because it is a community project they think they are quite small, similar to those we can currently see beside Cloch. However these turbines are more than three times the size of the lighthouse and to see what that looks like, and it is truly shocking, see here – http://t.co/4DDULrKZ

        That whilst this development may bring funds to an area of the peninsula, it will be at huge expense to the wider community. Anyone who suggests that these turbines will not impact on the area’s fragile tourism economy have not heard what those tourists that are here right now had to say about it when I told them about it; IF THE TURBINES WERE THERE, THEY WOULDN’T BE.

        A vote against the plans is not to vote against renewable energy, but is a vote against a project that is on an industrial scale and that would be sited in a highly visual and wholly inappropriate area. This will create a precedent, if a wind farm can be built in such a visually sensitive area it will make future applications (Helensburgh, Greenock and Bute) difficult, if not impossible, to refuse. It will also encourage previous applicants to dust off and resubmit their earlier refused applications and conjure up new ones.

        No-one should be in any doubt what a massive detrimental impact this will have on all the communities in this beautiful area, please don’t let the deadline pass without making your comments known.

      • You must have better eyesight than me; I was unaware of the turbines at the Cloch until I read about them in one of the objections. Even armed with that knowledge and a pair of binoculars I could barely see them from Kilcreggan; certainly not obvious.

  1. Instead of Trust members knocking on doors in Cove and Kilcreggan, I would have thought that an email sent out to trust member reminding them would have been a better start. The last email the trust sent out was a while back. I would have thought a good way to get support was to keep people informed. I think in just over a year there has been 6 emails from the trust. How many trust members are there?, it would be interesting to see and make a comparison to how many have actually made comments to the planning.

    Graham Walker

  2. Reading the SEPA objection you’d think the plan was proposing the desecration of pristine peat bog that’s never had a foot laid on it. They don’t seem to have done a site visit as the site is barely a peat bog at all; it’s shallow, degraded and drains have been installed to improve the grazing, or in other words a typical piece of upland farm pasture.

  3. DB you would be wrong in saying that SEPA have not visited the site only 10 days ago I was walking around that area and met up with 2 SEPA representatives who had been visiting Mill Dam and Lindowen and surrounding areas. I would also like to see how you class this as upland? I have competed in several 4×4 competitions on this land driving from Knocderry to Lindowen and I can assure you I have been bogged down and it’s not shallow in many parts.

  4. I’m glad you brought that up; if it really was peat bog you’d get nowhere trying to drive a 4×4 across it, yet that land has been used for part of the course for Scottish Landrover Club offroad trials for over a decade.

  5. No the bottom fields have been used for the Scottish Landover Owners Club. Also fields opposite, trials were never conducted that far up. However there is a track all the way to Lindowen which is used for a fun day raft race. If you happen to come off the track in to the bog then yes you have the possibility of getting stuck. I can assure you as a qualified 4×4 instructor you can drive across undisturbed peat bog for a considerable amount of time, without any problems whatsoever. At the end of the day it depends on experience and 4×4 set up!!!

    • I disagree with you, as I’ve stood and watched the trial several times; the tracks used cross the ground near the planned turbine foundations.

  6. Sorry, I think my text may have confused – there are already three turbines close to Cloch, they were erected in 2012.

    Personally, I have no objection to them at this site, or indeed if this size were to be utilised at Cove.

    Those currently at Cloch are 27m tall; those proposed for Cove/Rosneath are more than three times larger – as can be seen from the picture http://t.co/4DDULrKZ – it is their size and proposed location in such a visually sensitive area I object to.

    • The CDT’s montages are criticised for being unrepresentative, but that picture is even less representative; it’s not even of the proposed site.

  7. The CDT montages were completed under SNH guidelines; yes however this does not mean they are a true picture. This is why the Highland Council refused to use their guidelines when plans were made for a wind farm on Tiree. The trust indicated that SNH had to be used? Not true. There was an inquiry and a photomontage expert from Stirling University concluded that SNH guidelines were misleading including their photomontages. See the link I posted on several other forums. With reference to the SEPA comments, these are the government experts and so should be believed? This is what the trust indicates about their employed experts who were employed to overcome A&B Plan of only allowing less than 50m WT. These are words from the trust director not me, in the previous comments.

    • Anyone noticed anything yet – still no replies from the Trust.

      How do we get in touch with them? – the email to their web site must still be faulty ?

      Deb M – have you had a reply to your comment, which you also emailed to the Trust? (is that 5 or 6 days now ?)

      Not a very transparent process, is it, when replies to questions are not answered – please don’t tell me the Trust are not aware of the discussions here- as far as I know it’s the only way the people who are funding this – ie you and me – are currently able to request written replies.
      Surely questions asked requiring written replies warrant at last as much attention as door knocking ?
      Come on RPWCDT – what’s the problem ? We know you’re out there !

  8. Also, what is needed is a Freedom of Information request, as to who will be getting what once this starts (if it did, because it wont). How much does the farmer get, what are the expected administration costs will be e.g. part time accountant, contracts administrator(s), secretary etc. The’re not doing this for nothing, it’s called a ‘sprat to catch a mackerel’, indeed the hype about benefits to Cove and Kilcreggan, that’s half of the Penninsula (sod the rest of you) which is disgraceful is a clear example of the deluded leading the bewildered. Just let me say, I live in Kilcreggan and don’t like what I see.

  9. I have asked the same question a few times John. How much will the landowners get? The answer was they are still in negotiations with them!!! So the landowners wait until all the plans are in place and the bank said they have the funding and Wham Bam the rent goes up. There is nothing that can be done then they will be able to hold them to ransom because too much has been invested. I have been informed from a good contact that nothing has been agreed at all with the land owner no money, no contract nothing. So even if planning is given at the end of the day if the land owner says no or I want double rent what will happen? It is a joke that the general public have been kept in the dark. Before anyone comes back and tells me this is rubbish, confirm the above is not true (With Proof) and I might start believing the Trust!!!!

    • Interesting, an article I recently read quotes £50k per turbine, so £250k is possible, OR, “err, hang on, you now have planning permission, plant them here for a MILLION a year, or you have wasted your time going through all your planning nonsense!”

      A fantastic position to be in.

      • I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the continual innuendos and talk of secrecy and non transparency of the RPWCDT quite distasteful and those making the accusations should be ashamed of themselves. Anyone reading the rantings of the anti wind farm fanatics would think think that the Trust were trying to destroy our community instead of trying to provide a lifeline to an area that has been sadly neglected by the local authorities. It would appear that in the eyes of the ‘fanatics’ the Trust are ‘damned if they do and damned if they don’t’.

  10. I’m not ashamed of myself, indeed I am happy to post under my full name, because I sincerely believe in what I say. The whole case for, is badly flawed and rides upon fiscal promises which are in my opinion fanciful. Even if it were to work, they will never achieve what’s promised on £400k a year, but hold on, if they don’t generate before April 2014, the income goes down by 10% (did anyone tell you or the rest of the sheep that?) Thought Not. Do some research, you are being hoodwinked.

    • All that was explained at the public meeting in October, including the planned and possible future reductions in the ROC payments.

  11. As already stated and asked time and time again come back with answers and we might just take you serious. Well at the moment £198,000 that could have been used to good causes as been wasted on an inadequate reports that are totally against AAB Council Guidelines. No wind turbine over 50m to be allowed!!! Now could you explain what is difficult about that? So why has all this money been spent trying to build 92M turbines? It’s not difficult to understand is it!!! These rules are put in place to ensure our countryside is protected. I’m sure visit Scotland would love to have hundreds of WF everywhere and then put in their 2015 brochure Visit Scotland the Land of The Wind Mill, I think not.
    When you say we think the Trust is trying to destroy our community. Well that’s what is happening, dividing people and villages apart. Already 3 people have stopped speaking and the reason why “Because I do not support” Well if that’s how small minded people want to be the my answer is GET A LIFE!!!!

    • Most of the money came from funding bodies that deal with green projects and community-based renewable energy schemes, which would not be available to the trust unless it was planning the windfarm. The sole reason for the size of the planned turbines is that the cost to connect the windfarm to the grid is fixed by the distance the link has to cover; unless the windfarm is a certain minimum size it will not pay for itself, there would be no point in building it and no-one would loan the trust the capital to do so. Using 50m turbines would require 12-15 units, which would be much more visually obtrusive.

  12. Felicity –
    Contrary to what you think, I am not against wind farms – but only in the right location,

    My last post requested the Trust to come forward and answer outstanding questions.
    They are steadfastly ignoring the questions asked and do not reply to emails.

    Why ??

    Allocation of public funds to a body does require accountability – and that means information as well as figures.

    And people are right – think what could have been done with the monies so far – instead of being spent to produce flawed desk bound reports.

  13. Yes – The Trust’s email link on their website IS working

    Yes – I have had an answer from the Trust to my query

    No – it does not answer the question raised as to when the first £300K to £400K payment would be made to the community.

    Their full reply is as follows:

    “The Trust is still in preliminary discussions with a number of financial institutions, including the Co-operative bank, about the possible terms and conditions of any financial contract which we may enter into. We are very conscious of possible covenants which any bank would expect to see in place and will factor these into our financial model once those discussions are entered in to and financial closure is achieved.

    One point of clarification regarding your e-mail (just to clear up any misunderstanding). Our project, if successful, will not be 100% financed by the bank. As is fairly standard there is a equity percentage which we need to source from elsewhere and we are currently exploring those options. Consistent with our entire approach to this project we are seeking an option which maximises profit to be invested in community projects.”

    More from me to follow…….

    • The comments from the Trust suggests that no proper financial appraisal has been done based on a sensitivity analysis. In the real word no one provides equity without a large share of the cake. There is many a slip twist cup and lip!!!

  14. If JY had attended the Presentation day he would have heard Murdo say that the Trust were keen to get things up and running as soon as possible as the subsidy would most likely be reduced again in April 2014, so no big secret there! Everyone has the right to their own opinions and whether they are ‘for or against’ the proposed Wind Farm. What I find distasteful is the totally unnecessary suggestions that there has been any sort of conspiracy or secrecy when the Trust have been totally ‘open’ in all their actions. The apparent paranoia says more about the complainers than the Trust.

  15. Equity to source? This is the first time I have come across this from the trust, correct me if I’m wrong. Can any member of the trust or anyone point out where this is mentioned in previous plans? It would be much appreciated.
    Regards Graham Walker

    • For your information the Presentation took place in Cove Burgh Hall on Saturday 20th October 2012 and was very well advertised. As well as the fact that the subsidy for wind farms would likely be reduced again in 2014, Murdo stated that the bank would not be supplying 100% of the loan and that funds would be sought from other sources, ie grants would be sought when (and if) planning permission was granted. Another big secret?

      • The reason why i wanted the date because i was a little confused when you said Murdo wanted to get things moveing in case of subsidy cuts. The announcment for a 10% cut was made 25th July 2012 by Mr Osborne he also informed the house that he was determined not to commit Britain to European targets beyond 2020. I don’t no where you get this about i think its a big secret conspiricey. I mentioned this twice because asking questions and getting no answers points to this. However what i would like to ask is what was the first date trust directors had a meeting before any announcments were made public in regards to a trust? This is just a question nothing on secrecy before your start blowing again.

  16. Here is a direct quote from my submission to Argyll and Bute “During a House of Commons Debate in March 2012, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change referred to the level of on shore wind provision that had been built and which had planning permission, and the amount which was subject to planning application or appeal. On the basis of those figures the SoS considered that most of the development which the country needs is “already on the table”. Therefore it can be said the UK target for 20% renewable energy production by 2020 can be met without any further development.

    Furthermore, last November The Energy Minister, Mr Haynes said, “there was no need for more onshore Wind Farms that were not already in the planning system,” adding it was, “job done” in terms of the number required for renewable energy targets. – There is no requirement for another Wind Farm in the United Kingdom.”

    It is not needed.

    • What appears in government press releases and is uttered by ministers often differs significantly from what appears as legislation or policy enacted by civil servants. The Scottish Government seem as keen on renewable energy as ever, including wind farms.

  17. Can I just reiterate what I said a while back, and I feel it is an important point –
    someone mentioned farmers increasing their demands if planning approval is given –
    PLEASE NOTE – it is not the Trust who are given planning approval – it is the area of land.

      • let me say, here and now, I am not against the farmer, he’s running a business.

        It is Wind Farms I am against. And I am an environmentalist.

    • It seems unlikely; given how low the margins are, any significant increase in land rent(such as suggested above a 150-300% increase) demand is going to make the farm unviable. The lender simply will not lend the money and it will not be built. I would imagine that the Trust have sought and obtained agreement in principle with the land owners based on the existing plan; if there is variation due to planning conditions or the geology once work commences there would be an agreed method of adjusting the rent.

    • A misconception that has arisen a number of times in some of the comments made and objections is that the Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust has been unfair to the rest of the peninsula in that it only represents the west side despite being told that any revenue from the wind farm would benefit the whole of the peninsula. It may not be common knowledge that Rosneath & Clynder have their own Community Development Trust which was formed some years before the RPWCDT. It was formed with the same aims ie. to aid the regeneration of the area. As the west side of the peninsula was badly in need of many improvements, the RPWCDT was formed to deal with the problems in that area. It was certainly not a case of ignoring the needs of the other communities.

  18. Hi, I have been informed that the R&C trust is no longer in existence. Could someone comment on this please? It would be nice to see a member of the trust comment on this and tell us if they knew?

    • They’ll be out with their petition that you can expect to be sent in on 22nd February with the pro-forma letters, see comment 20735812 (one has been sent in early blowing their plan).

      Bet there not making a list of the people who wont sign it! Simply deduct the number of names from the number of people on the Peninsula, to find out how many are actually AGAINST it.

      • Bit of a boo boo sending it in at this time. It doesn’t matter what is in the village you can’t drag people along to use clubs etc!!! That was a quote from the lady who ran the guides and Brownies for many years and watched it die away and nothing she could do!!! Kids would rather stop in and play the PS and Xbox now and at the end of the day it’s not the kids fault!!!

  19. I don’t understand the comments on this blog about the RPWCDT actions apart from throwing a lot of public money down the drain they do not seem to have taken any action;. Their web site has not been updated it still says they are waiting for a cultural award. It still says they are preparing an application for planning permission. The difficulty in looking back as there are no reports of public meetings like the 20 October. There is no mention at all of the earlier open meeting when the windfarm saga started that refered to 2 small <0.5 MW turbines. The so called minutes of the AGM of 9 Nov are a joke they contain no mention of wind farms and no AoB and I know several pointed questions about the wind farm were asked and the response was "that information is not ready, we are working on it and it will be presented to the public before the planning application is made."
    There is a well hidden mention of the windfarm attached to that meeting in the directors report. the report was not read at the meeting but handed out and of course the whole fiasco only lasted about half an hour and no time to glance at the report let alone examine it. The reference to the windfarm brief as it is also says that the final plans and planning application would be presented at a public meeting before submission.
    This of course did not happen the planning application was first submitted a few days after the AGM, with no announcement until the round robin on 14 January variously circulated by Email illegally to members of the community.
    I am not against renewal energy systems but like everything else,, in the right proportion in the right place. I am, incandescent about the way the trust has handled this matter. In their Articles of Incorporation they have limited themselves to only doing certain things mostly to organise events and dispense monies to help the less able and less well off members of the community. They have not done any of these. The Articles have no mention of raising monies.or entering into major construction projects and as I read the memorandum changes to the articles have to be passed at an AGM and notified to Companies House before any different tasks can be legally undertaken.
    The Trust will be open to attack and rightly so until it operates in an open and accountable way. Blogs like this are not the place to provide information to the public, whom they should be serving. The missing financial and other details must be posted publicly to Planning, on the RPWCDT web site and in hard copy throughout the community for those who do not monitor the web. Minutes of meetings including directors meeting should be comprehensive, accurate and posted on the website timeously. Emails and letters must be responded to promptly and answered in a resonable time. The Web site must be kept up to date or else the Trust will appear to have vanished or really have vanished like the Rosneath Trust.
    My final point is that the spending of public / grant money (my tax and lottery money) just because it is there is not a way to build a more caring and equal society.

    • No action? The CDT helped organise the ‘Seachange’ community festival, a thermal image energy efficiency survey of homes, assisted with a ‘Creative Places’ award application, organised the production of the Community Action Plan and started the wind farm project.

      Over 75% of the money spent on the wind farm planning came from organisations that offer grants for community renewable energy projects; without planning a renewable energy project that money would not have been available to the Trust.

  20. Can we get one thing clear and I think DB that the trust should start singing from the same hymn sheet. You say that the Trust “organised the production of the Community Action Plan”. However from a quote by the Trust Convener “the Community Action Plan, which was written, not by the Trust but by members of the community” So I put the question to you, can you confirm who actually produced the CAP? Because at the moment I’m unsure and I think so are a lot of other people in the area!!!!! Secondly you say that 75% came from grants that could only be spent on the wind farm OK. That still leaves approximately £50,000 that could have been spent more efficiently on the needs of the area. But that’s ok because only £50,000 has been wasted and not £200,000.

    • The CAP was produced by the Trust and Community Links Scotland in consultation with the local populace; from the CAP’s introduction:

      The Development Trust was formed with the consent of the Cove and Kilcreggan Community Council to take forward the aspirations of the Rosneath Peninsula West. The Trust Board was formed in April 2010 and had fifteen members. The first role of the Development Trust, as agreed with the Community Council, was to find out what the needs, priorities and aspirations were for the residents of the area and to find ways forward to achieve these. The Trust appointed Community Links Scotland to carry out extensive community consultation, liaise with MAST architects and all other relevant organizations and to bring together the various strands of a Community Action Plan.

      After a six-month consultation exercise with the local community the CAP was published in May 2011.

  21. So why did the a Trust member (CONVENER) state and i quote” “the Community Action Plan, which was written, not by the Trust but by members of the community” I ask again?

    • As usual Graham misunderstands what is written or takes it out of context. The Chairman of the Trust did not mean that the Community Action Plan was written literally by the members of the community, but that it was the wishes of the community, all those who took the trouble to write down what changes they would like to see in the area, put together to form the CAP. It was not formed by the the decisions of the Trust directors.

    • Again I have to say that Graham likes to take everything out of context. As DB said, the Directors of the Trust came together in April 2010 to form the RPWCDT, they became a registered company in June 2010 and the official launch was in November 2010. Does any of this really matter? I’m not sure why Graham continues to live here as he seems to dislike and criticize everything about the community and what people are trying to do to improve things.

      • I do not dislike anything about the community and I have been active in a few areas. However what I do dislike is the wasting of tax payer’s money on ideas that do not fit in with a community and try and run ruff shot over council policies that are in place.

  22. Whatever “F” again check out the conveners comment on the other blog then you will know!!! Or will you say thanks Graham for spotting my deliberate mistake again when you got it incorrect?!!!!

    • Graham, I am at a total loss to know what you are going on about! If you are referring to the comment made by Murdo as Chairman of the RPWCDT on 7th January – THE COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN, WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY etc – I have already explained that Murdo didn’t mean LITERALLY written by the community!!! The wishes of several hundred residents of the community were compiled together to form the Community Action Plan, I don’t know how you don’t understand that.

  23. I don’t think you can get more clear than the statement below!!!

    The parlous state of the post offices is common knowledge in the villages, just ask John or Margaret, and it is also well known that the schools were slated for closure just a couple of years ago. The Trust could not operate a private school but, in line with the recommendations of the Community Action Plan, which was written, not by the Trust but by members of the community, the Trust can attempt to bring more affordable housing to our area which should benefit the schools and the retail businesses. This can only be done with the income from the wind farm.

    Either the Trust produced it or not? simple question please could you answer yes or no.

  24. Sounds to me like the answer’s pretty obvious, Mr Walker, unless you just want to nitpick. The trust collated the community’s responses.

  25. Why would it be obvious when DB quote”The CAP was produced by the Trust” and the convener qoute” the Community Action Plan, which was written, not by the Trust” nothing nitpiking about that just which one is true!!!Mr Watson

  26. From where I’m sitting, it is nitpicking to the point of what could be termed “trolling”, Mr Walker.

    Since you claim to need clarification, I’ll play along with your gambit and attempt to provide it, though I’ll be surprised if it satisfies you.

    From your quotes: “The CAP was produced by the Trust” indicates, as I said above, that the trust collated the responses; “the Community Action Plan, which was written, not by the Trust” indicates that the responses were not originated by the Trust, but were the responses submitted by people from the community, which were collated by the Trust.

    It seems pretty obvious to me, and I don’t see any responses from the “lot of other people in the area!!!!!” you claim are similarly mystified. Did you actually attend the meetings that have been held to discuss this matter wgere you could have raised your concerns, and if so, were you elected a spokesperson for these “other people”?

    I ask, because your voice is by far the most prominent in the comments on this site, which, along with your claim to speak for a “lot of other people” makes me wonder what, if any, vested interest you have in opposing the proposals, and to my eye, attempting to disrupt the discussions of others with red herrings, when I see quite a few misconceptions raised above that commenters like db and ‘Felicity’ have addressed. That would be a more fruitful course for discussions than this one, which is already growing tiresome.

    • “what, if any, vested interest you have in opposing the proposals”

      Hold on, what about the people driving the proposals; what’s in it for them further down the line, when contracts need to be managed – OK, profits will go to the community, but after what ‘legitimate costs’ have been incurred?

      • What are you insinuating here, Mr Younger?

        Its seems pretty transparent to me since I live in the area and know the people involved in the Trust committee. What’s in it for them is living in a community that has better amenities.

  27. These are your thoughts but not mine, as far as I’m concerned everyone is entitled to an opinion. I just find it strange that people need to hide behind initials and single names. When this is done it will always get my suspicions up. But thank you for your comments.

  28. “I just find it strange that people need to hide behind initials and single names.”

    In a small community, and given the perils of online interaction, I don’t think it strange at all. In fact, it means the information uimparted can be judged on its own merits independent of personal factors.

    Whether you are in fact “Graham Walker” is something nobody else can know. And it doesn’t really matter.

    Having seen your comments elsewhere, though, I am puzzled about a few things, not least your mention of having regularly seen ospreys at Lindowan.

    I’m very familiar indeed with that water, and have spent more hours than I care to think about up there at various times of day and year over the last 20 years or so. I’ve seen a wide variety of bird life, including a cormorant which I witnessed taking a sizeable trout, but the only raptor I’ve seen up there in all that time is the kestrels that hang out regularly in the woodland adjoining the loch. I’d be very excited to see an osprey (though I suspect the Angling Club committee would be less than overjoyed!), but i’ve never seen even something in the distance that made me wonder whether that’s what it was. So I can only conclude that they aren’t that numerous in the area.

    One can very easily pick holes in what the Trust has been trying to achieve, as with any major project, but from what I can see, they’ve been doing their best to conduct this process properly, carry out a proper consultation exercise, as well as anticipating objections and taking ameliorative action (which I can’t say about the recent proposal for the Helensburgh wind farm as it stands).

    From my point of view, I consider arguments about visual amenity and “wasting of tax payer’s money on ideas that do not fit in with a community and try and run ruff shot over council policies that are in place” to be rather strange since we have, among other things, two very intrusive massive naval bases in the area which have wide-ranging environmental and social impacts, none of them subject to local planning scrutiny since the MoD is exempt and a law unto itself, as well as visually obtrusive industrial installations on the hills above Gourock/Greenock/Port Glasgow, not to mention the merchant trade infrastructure on Clydeside and the nuclear power and stations a little way down the coast. It’s an industrial landscape set among an area of great beauty, and we’ve all learned to live with that to a greater or lesser extent.

    I’ve walked the area where the wind farm is proposed to be sited a number of times, and the terrain is neither pristine nor in short supply on the Peninsula. In fact, if the development goes ahead, it could open up that area for visitors (I’ve explored some of the wind farm developments around Stirling myself, taking advantage of this facility, though I’d say that some are more sensitively sited than others).

    How much of your taxes goes to support Faslane and Coulport? Do you benefit directly from that? If so, good for you. If not, then the investment in the proposed Cove wind farm is very much a drop in the ocean in comparison. It’s telling that for all the area’s dependence on those bases and the fuss that erupts whenever there’s a hint they may be downsized etc., and for all the many millions spent over the years and the employment provided, we still have a struggling community directly neighbouring it, and it consumes a lot of energy and resources, and has a major impact on our wider infrastructure, such as the roads beyond those the MoD has constructed, for which we all have to foot the bill, to mention just one aspect.

    It’s a question of proportion. A few windmills on a hill and a modest taxpayer subsidy pales in comparison, and looks like it could bring real direct local benefits.

  29. Thanks for your reply. With regards to the Osprey sightings I have visited Lindowen last year over 70 times to feed the loch for the angling club and in fact noted the raptor on 4/5 different occasions. Only this year I have lost 2 chickens to Sparrow Hawks on my property. So these breeds are in the area. It was only a couple of years ago when the Helensburgh Advertiser ran a story of breeding pair of Ospreys within RNAD Coulport, stating that it was the most protected pair in the UK.
    With regards to HMNB Clyde and RNAD Coulport, I’m afraid they are there and you either love them or hate them. I have no objection to alternative energy sources and the greener the better however what I don’t agree with is the size of this application. AAB planning policy and their web site states the following-
    http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Argyll%20and%20Bute%20Landscape%20Wind%20Energy%20Capacity%20Study%20Part%201.pdf
    There is no scope to accommodate turbines above 50m height within the smaller scale, settled coastal/loch fringes and islands due to their increased landscape
    sensitivity to tall turbines, including potential cumulative effects with wind farm
    development in adjacent upland areas.
    This is what I disagree with, this study dated 2012 was put in place to stop large turbine like this being constructed. I have been a member of JMT & BMC along with the RSPB for many years and I think our landscape should be protected. If this construction goes ahead it will just open up all the other applications that have been rejected over the last 5 years. So this is the main reason I’m totally against this plan. Not the construction of turbines but the size. I do have a couple of pictures on Lindowen of raptors, I will do my best to locate them and post.

    • That’s interesting, Mr Walker. I’ve certainly seen other raptors around the Peninsula over the years. Sparrow hawks? I’ve had one knock itself out crashing into our window when it was going after our bird table, and this was well down the hill in Cove (it revived itself after a few minutes, which was just as well as I didn’t fancy nursing it). I’ve seen hen harriers at times, including quartering the lower fields along the Barbour Road. But I’ve never seen ospreys (not being a base worker, I obviously won’t see those at Coulport), though my visits to Lindowan have been less frequent in recent years, so that may be a relatively new influx.

      “you either love them or hate them” – The same could be said about wind turbines! Though, as with the bases, I think there are other grades of opinion. I have more enthusiasm for wave and tidal power as a longer-term solution myself.

      Argyll and Bute Council will have input into the planning process in due course, so we’ll see how much variance to that policy (drawn up under a previous administration) they may allow. We’ll just have to wait and see how that goes, and then what happens if the proposals are ultimately called in.

      “If this construction goes ahead it will just open up all the other applications that have been rejected over the last 5 years.”

      I’ve seen “Sue G” (a.k.a. “Sue Glover”) make that argument too above and elsewhere (she apparently seems to think we live in an unspoilt Eden!), and I’m not sure it holds water. You could equally argue that the go-ahead for the Cove development would make it less likely for other plans in the area to be approved.

      I think most sane people would like to see the landscape protected. On the other hand, we all consume electricity, and unless we as individuals go completely off-grid, I think it’s good for a community to take some responsibility for its own consumption and weigh and bear the burden of the consequences of it. If the turbines serve as a visual reminder of the costs of the conveniences we take for granted, perhaps that’s better than a nuclear or other power station out of sight and out of mind somewhere where we can just forget about it unless it’s on our doorstep.

      While driving along the Barbour Road, I’ve been trying to get some idea of what the reality of the wind farm would look like, using the current anemometer as a sightline, but I’ve been hampered by fear of running off the road. I think I could learn to live with it.

      If sheer height of the turbines is your main concern, I’m not clear that the larger number of smaller turbines that would be required to finance the grid connection would be better for the landscape, visually or otherwise.

      • Dave – worth pointing out that this development is not about generating energy for community consumption, neither is it about saving the world, the Trust have been absolutely clear about that.

        I`ve been very quiet on this, unusual for me, esp given my natural aversion to wind farms. I like the thinking behind this, but as time goes on, I hve two main concerns.
        1- I`m worried thatturbines at 92m will be much more visible than the montages suggest.
        2- I`m less and less convinced about long term financials. There has been no detailedcost analysis published (note the word `published`), and i fear very much this development will fall into the hands of a commercial operator. When the money is not coming in, or hit with a large capital expenditure that can`t be afforded, the bank will not care who takes control.

      • Mr Black – “worth pointing out that this development is not about generating energy for community consumption, neither is it about saving the world”

        On the first point, I didn’t intend to imply that it was. But since electricity on the grid is a fungible resource, the community’s efforts would be injecting into the grid at least a proportion of what it consumes. On the second, I don’t see where I could be construed as implying that.

      • This has been suggested before and I asked the same question then; why would a developer buy an unprofitable windfarm where there was little or no prospect of enlarging it? If the sums don’t add up the Trust won’t be able to borrow the money in the first instance; they have been fairly bullish about this aspect, which suggests the lenders agree with them.

  30. Reading today’s comments I will repeat a couple of points I made in my last entry. This blog has a very limited readership, see the intro panel. It is not the place for the Trust to communicate its policy that should be on the RPWCDT website.
    I have attended all the open meetings of the Trust and almost every question was blanked and left unanswered saying we are still working on the details i.e. at the meetings NO details were presented.
    I repeat the last AGM was a joke no mention of the wind farm at all, buried in the Chairman’s report, which was not read or even paraphrased at the meeting, there is a tiny mention of the wind farm and the statement that the Trust is working on preparing a planning submission which will be presented to the community before it is submitted.
    The plans were not shown to the community and the submission was submitted to Argyll and Bute Council less than 4 weeks later, no doubt in the hope that nobody would notice in the run up to Christmas and the 21 days consultation period would expire while we were all enjoying Christmas and New year. Of course the submission was missing several key documents and not accepted until 22 Dec. The first most people knew of the application was when Murdo sent out his plea for support on 14 Jan.
    I think you will find that like myself John and Graham joined the trust at the first launch meeting and by definition did so because they wish to improve the community in which they live.
    Please do not waste too much of your time on this blog until you get the Trust, that you love so much to get its web site up to date and gives out some concrete information on the current position instead of going round the doors trying to convince residents to sign up for something the have no information on.
    Finally the owners of the sub post office franchises would be less streesed if members of the trust directors did not storm in and rant and rave about how they should run their businesses.

    • What’s coming across to me from your comments here, Mr Younger, is that you appear to have a personal gripe with those currently administering the Trust, and seem intent on making public allegations about their motivations that you cannot possibly substantiate, always assuming the worst.

      Given the Helensburgh Advertiser has dubbed you the “leader” of the opposition to the Cove wind farm proposal, you might want to take some advice yourself and try to appear a little more professional and dispassionate in your public statements.

      • Apologies: For “Mr Younger” above, please read “Mr Snook”, who was indeed the person I was intending to address. The rest of my comment stands.

      • Indeed, Rodney is a passionate guy, who believes in his cause, as do I.

        Why are the people ‘driving’ the Wind Farm;

        1. So quiet on this forum?

        2. Not communicating through their website?

  31. Mr Watson I have just re-read my comments I do not see any allegations about the motives of the Trust directors, all the statements I have made I can substantiate. I don’t know what their motives are because they are not telling the community what they are doing and under minute the meetings. I do know that they are proceeding in breech of the Trust articles of incorporation.
    I do not a personal or any other gripe against Directors of the Trust, It is just that they have spent over £200,000 of public money on a project that their advisors told them over a year ago in the reports attached to the planning application could not succeed. Also that they have consistently refused to answer the simple questions asked about the finances which appear to to be based on very slim margins whilst with each new revalation we see more expenditure being promised without a reduction in the payback to the community.
    I too was surprised to be dubbed leader of the opposition I said during the meeting with the Advertiser that we had no organised opposition. The first I heard of the planning application was Murdo’s round robin on on 14 Jan and I only know or have met one or two of the objectors.

  32. talking of that email-
    I still think it is insulting to question whether the Loch Long villagers (west side) are ‘sensible’ in objecting – If we are talking about attitude – I feel that is unacceptable.

    I believe, from what I am reading, that the Trust seem a bit surprised that people are objecting!

    But it would be nice to hear from them – especially as I asked for all replies to me via this blog, which they did (once) – so someone is reading it….
    As I said – I prefer to use the blog in order that everyone can see the reply.

  33. Zak
    You are correct in one way that there have been a few responses from the Trust here but the place for the Trust to speak is on their own web site and in a hard copy form for those who do not surf the net. On the basis of advice here that the Trust has fixed their contact link I have re-entered some unrelated messages I thought they were just ignoring. I await a response.
    There are a very limited number of readers to this blog, my reference to the intro panel which is near the top but I only found this by means of a link sent to me by graham and I am not used to social media messaging I have trouble navigating about the lochside press I can’t find the place I was looking at before, I think it was yesterday, I saw that disillusioned bint has re-bloged all this to a new blog of her own but I don’t know how to find it again even though I elected to follow her. I don’t know if this is the same person as db it seems likely, one or both of them may be Deb M and all three may be a fat bloke with a can of lager and a pizza.

    • Rodney: perhaps I can help with a couple of things. Firstly, the ‘categories’ drop-down menu (halfway down the homepage)will help you to find stories for particular topics, e.g. wind farm, education. Just underneath that is a ‘recent comments’ section which might also help. ‘WDTTTK’ has also mentioned the number of this readers of this site, so for information I have taken a screen shot which shows the number of views in recent weeks and put this at the bottom of the ‘About’ section. The blog was started in January 2012 and sine then there has been a fairly steady increase in numbers, with occasional peaks – the busiest day was when I had posted stories about plans for pontoons at Kilcreggan and Dunoon. Also for information, ‘db’ and ‘delusional bint’ are very different people.
      I hope this helps.
      Julian Calvert

      • Thanks Julian.
        I had found the pull down menu and knew that one day I had seen a comment on the home page saying, something like “58 people are reading this blog”

        I know from Graham Walker that as the controller of the site you can see the full addresses, the gibe is to try and get some of the contributers out from behind the masks. They can pass me in the street and I don’t know they are the very people I am communicating with.

        I still have problems navigating as I don’t remember the start of the blogs to recognise them. You will know I have posted to 2 blogs the windfarm one and the other that has been talking about a petrol pump in Kilcreggan, I can’t find this one unless there is a recent post to follow.

        On a different subject is there any way you could put a spell checker on the ‘leave a reply’ box? there are silly mistakes in the posts, we get so used to tapping away and slips being highlighted the only way to get a less error strewn post is to write it off line in a word processor and the paste to the blog.
        I am getting to like the ‘Press’ it is a great way to air problems and get quick responses.

        Rodney

    • Rodney firstly I will explain that my ‘delusionalbint’ blog isn’t new, in fact it has fallen into disuse and was used as a tool purely for the Ferry campaign. I have not re-blogged any material since May 2012 but feel free to check http://delusionalbint.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/13/
      I do regularly tweet posts by the lochside press on many subjects as do several people but there seems to be something sinister being implied about all this which I cannot for the life of me figure out. And as this thread is turning into an episode of the X Files with conspiracies and theories abound my name is Janet Cassie nee Fleming . I hope that is enough information to satisfy although I suspect that it will ultimately be a great disappointment. If that is still not enough I will post my address too!!

  34. Would Mr Snook care to enlighten me as to how he perceives that the ‘Trust has breeched their Articles of Incorporation? For your information, Lochside Press had an article on the Wind Farm Planning Application on 4th January, 2013.

  35. “Would Mr Snook care to enlighten me as to how he perceives that the ‘Trust has breeched their Articles of Incorporation?”

    Oh, ‘Felicity’, don’t you understand? If we see unwarranted allegations emanating from the screen name of Mr Snook, you and I are obviously suffering from a form of mass hallucination!

    For instance, Mr Snook never commented:

    “The plans were not shown to the community and the submission was submitted to Argyll and Bute Council less than 4 weeks later, no doubt in the hope that nobody would notice in the run up to Christmas and the 21 days consultation period would expire while we were all enjoying Christmas and New year.”

    And the words “no doubt in the hope that nobody would notice” should not be taken as an allegation about the motivations of the Trust committee, because Mr Snook has told us that “I do not see any allegations about the motives of the Trust directors”.

    So that’s that cleared that up.

  36. Jamie –
    I also believe the photomontages to be poor, and the quality has been commented on by many people.

    As you say, this is not, and never was, a ‘green’ project – it’s overridingly for filthy lucre to service a small population , with a ludicrously small ‘offering’ (I daren’t say bribe) to those who will suffer most from the imposition of this installation. The wider ranging effect on the National Park, The Cowal and the Clyde estuary has not been fully addressed.
    I believe this is proposal is short sighted, and cannot understand why the belief has been promulgated that the Trust know better than A&BC, SNH and NP.
    After all, the EIA is -a) a desk-bound report – and b) the opinion of that company [who were employed to produce the report].
    Few companies would proceed with a recommendation against the policies set in place by Scottish Government, after being advised that the size of turbine was unsuitable, and that the site is a sensitive location in terms of landscape and wildlife, as well as adversely affecting the surrounding landscape.

    Worryingly, and again I have commented on this before, is the thought that any developer can walk in and take over if the development fails to fulfill the Trust’s hopes. I know the argument that no-one would take on a dubious investment has been made and does have merit- but, as with the housing mortgages, there are some bargains to be had on foreclosures.

    I believe a large part of the set up costs on the project is the cabling to the sub station – wouldn’t most developers have said – ‘too expensive’ and left well alone ??

    • I would like to pick up on Zak’s point here about the possibility of developers coming in and taking over this project, something that Jamie has also raised. In my view, THERE IS A VERY REAL CHANCE THIS COULD HAPPEN.

      Contrary to db’s comment, a commercial developer would consider taking on a project that does not make financial sense for the Trust; a commercial company would have an entirely different financial and funding profile and would look to trade profitably, where the inexperienced and heavily bank funded Trust could not.

      Furthermore, if the Trust’s financial plan is deemed inadequate and they decide not to proceed, then as per their obligations under the Companies Act 2006 the directors, if they then received a monetary offer from a commercial company wanting to take over the project, would almost be duty bound to accept it; the project would then be with a commercial developer.

      And, once a commercial developer has taken over, isn’t it likely that they will, as has been seen at numerous other sites, apply to extend it; this is particularly relevant to Rosneath, where the cost of the grid connection is very substantial and the developer will look to offset that cost with as many turbines as possible.

  37. Zak with ref to your last comment, connection to the sub-station. I have looked at this and can’t seem to find very little information. The fact is it is unknown how these WT will be connected at this time. Either underground or by pole (Pylon) i think it was meant to be. Asking engineers at work who are in this line of business, they have informed me there is a drastic difference between the two (Pylons can cost up to 10x the cost of underground). I wonder if anyone has any more information on this subject.

    • Mr Walker, the Trust’s online documents very clearly specify that if an above-ground link to the substation proves to be the only option, it will utilise poles, not pylons. The trust’s clearly stated preference is for it to be installed underground.

      As for zak’s concern above about ” The wider ranging effect on the National Park, The Cowal and the Clyde estuary has not been fully addressed.” Given the scale of the existing military infrastructure in the area, I hardly think a small-scale wind farm would even register on the scale! Are tourists going to flee en masse when faced with a few rotors, when they’ve apparently not been chased away by miles of roadside razor wire? Good grief.

  38. Hi Dave
    Here is a copy of section 4 to 6 of the Trust’s objectives;

    4 The Trust’s objects are:
    (1) The Prevention or relief of Poverty;
    (2) The Advancement of Education;
    (3) The Advancement of Health (including the prevention or relief of sickness, disease or human suffering);
    (4) The Advancement of Citizenship or community development (including rural or urban regeneration and the promotion of civic responsibility, volunteering, the voluntary sector or the effectiveness or efficiency of charities);
    (5) The Advancement of The Arts, Heritage, Culture or Science;
    (6) The Advancement of Environmental protection or improvement;
    (7) The Relief of those in need by reason of age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage;
    (8) The Provision of Recreational facilities, or the organisation of recreational activities, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended, and only in relation to recreational facilities or activities which are:
    a. Primarily intended for persons who have need of them by reason of their age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage, or
    b. Available to members of the public at large or to male or female members of the public at large.

    5 The Trust’s objects are restricted to those set out in article 4 (but subject to article 6).

    6 The Trust may (subject to first obtaining the consent of OSCR) add to, remove or alter the statement of the Trust’s objects in article 4; on any occasion when it does so, it must give notice to the registrar of companies and the amendment will not be effective until that notice is registered on the register of companies.

    Please explain to me where it says they are to undertake major infrastructure projects and borrow £15M please take careful not of 5 above.

    Rodney

    • If Mr Snook had bothered to read the Articles of Association of the Trust in full he would have read the following:-
      7 POWERS:-
      (vi) To conduct fact finding, policy and action research directed towards achievement of the above goals.
      (b) To carry on any other activities which further any of the above objects.
      (i) To BORROW MONEY and to give security in support of any such borrowings by the Trust, in support of borrowings of any obligations taken by the Trust etc
      (k) To engage such consultants and advisers as are considered appropriate from time to time.
      (p) To take such steps as may be deemed appropriate for the purpose of RAISING FUNDS for the Trust’s activities.
      and there are many more clauses which you can read for yourself.

      For the Bloggers making snide comments that the Trust’s directors may have some ulterior motive for wanting to raise money, please read the following, also from the Articles of Association:-
      RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF TRUSTS ASSETS:-
      8 (a) The income and property of the Trust shall be applied SOLELY towards promoting the Trust’s objects.
      (b) NO PART of the income or property of the Trust shall be paid or transferred (directly or indirectly) to members of the Trust, whether by way of a dividend, bonus or otherwise.
      (c) NO DIRECTOR of the Trust shall be appointed as a paid employee of the Trust; no director shall hold any office under the Trust for which a salary or fee is payable.

  39. I never realised what an environmentally sensitive area we live in! I never heard about any of this when the MoD were carving up our lovely area to build the bases, build lots of housing for lots of base workers which led to same base workers spawning housing development in every scrap of land they could get their grubby hands on and ruining attractive villages. So hands up all those who’ve worked at the bases, this biggest despoiler of our communities

  40. Obviously delusionalbint it looks like you are possible a member or a good candidate for CND membership!!. You will be pleased then if SNP get their way and the base is closed along with RNAD Coulport. This will then bring approx 4500 redundancies to the area and then you won’t have to worry because you will be able to get your attractive villages back. Unfortunately there won’t be anyone in them because they will be ghost towns. The houses that you go on about were built for military personnel in three areas, Churcill, Rhu and 5/6 houses in Cove, and not base workers. One of the aims of the WF is to provide affordable housing. Do you not think that when the MOD sold off many married quarters that this did not help the community of Helensburgh, has these houses was way below their market valuation approx £60.000. I personally know three families that obtained these properties and it helped them establish themselves on the property ladder. I also find it quite offensive when you class military personnel with words such as “Grubby Hands” when at this present time and always we should be proud of our military personnel and the excellent job that they do. Excuse me if you reply and I don’t answer you. Nothing personnel but I suggest you get of your high horse and try their job for just one day!! And please don’t insult them.

    • Rein in your high horse there, Mr Walker. We who choose to support the Trust’s initiative have already been characterised as “sheep” by Mr Snook, so if we all choose to take offence so readily (in your case on behalf of others), then there won’t be enough huff to go round.

      I think a point to be taken from delusionalbint’s comment is that this is by no means an untouched area, despite the impression those such as Sue G might wish to give. Leaving aside the question of housing and the effects on our villages, there was the 3,000-acre land grab at Coulport for the base extension, in addition to the land taken up by Faslane and the NATO training grounds above Garelochhead.

      You have pointed to the habitation of ospreys at Coulport, and previously attempted to link this to the proposed wind farm’s location (I’m still waiting for those photos of ospreys at Lindowan, by the way, and if I ever get to see them will be pleasantly surprised if they show more than a nondescript possible hen harrier or perhaps a buzzard).

      Isn’t it remarkable that those Ospreys at Coulport can apparently tolerate, if not thrive near, the gigantic infrastructure in the area and choose to hang out in direct proximity to the nuclear warhead storage area at Coulport. This in addition to the other rich range of wildlife that the MoD boasts inhabits the area around Coulport. And the military exercises above Garelochhead – one near-catstrophic brush fire a few years ago notwithstanding – deson’t seem to have inhibited that range of fauna to the point of extinction.

      But a five-turbine development plus some concrete foundations and the possible installation of electricity poles (NOT pylons, as anyone who’s bothered to read the Trust’s documents would know), if the plan to lay the grid connection underground proves unfeasible, on a previously improved patch of farm upland will apparently be too much for our wildlife to withstand.

      I do find your concern on this issue rather selective. You claim membership of all these well-intentioned wildlife organisations and proclaim your concern about the habitat in the area of the proposed development, while revealing that you have been driving a 4X4 in that very area! I wonder what that did to the nesting, breeding and feeding habits of the wildlife?

      • Your mistake, if there was one, Ms bint, was betraying a modicum of passion. This is something that is apparently only acceptable for opponents of this initiative, who can level scurrilous allegations and throw around epithets like “sheep” with impunity.

        I doubt you will, but in case it’s at all a likelihood, please don’t allow a little silly attempted online bullying to deter you from expressing your views. It’s notable to me that Mr Walker’s tone and conduct towards those whose online names suggest they are female is quite different to the way he conducts himself towards others who aren’t similarly identified. I can’t imagine why some of his neighbours are reportedly no longer speaking to him. It’s a mystery. Or possibly a grand conspiracy.

    • Ms bint, I think your point (which I’m glad you didn’t mind my expanding) was blatantly obvious except to someone who wishes to feign outrage!!!! at a casual throwaway comment because he has no other answer to you. I raised a similar point with Mr Walker earlier, to which the reply was a shrugged, “you either love the base or hate it”. This binary view seems to be all-encompassing.

      It seems to me that for some people, any and every incursion on our renowned scenery and environment is excusable except for this particular proposed wind farm.

      Apparently tourists will join the wildlife in fleeing the area – and perhaps the entire National Park – when faced with the whirling demonic windmills, having never previously turned a hair at the entire UK nuclear arsenal scudding gaily through the waves or sitting idyllically under a tranquil clear blue osprey-studded sky just up the road, where only a privileged few can witness the spectacle denied to the rest of us for fear of interrogation or arrest at gunpoint.

      By all accounts, the waterfront at Gourock will be lined with families feverishly training binoculars up the coast – having just enjoyed a visit to the splendours of the Amazon warehouse, the old IBM factory, the cranes at Greenock, the spectacular scenic television mast on the Green Isle or other local marvels on display – at which point dads and mums will be heard to snap, “Head for the car, kids. I think I just caught a glimpse of a rotor on that hill yonder. No, not that one. That one. That one there. THERE. For heaven’s sake, are you blind? Holiday’s over. We’ll not come here again.”

      As I keep saying, it’s a question of proportion …

      • Dave it’s all getting too much for me, what with the discovery that I “must be in the TRUST!!!!” and that I am possibly “a member or a good candidate for CND membership!!”. Having so little insight all this had passed by me unnoticed and I feel that I really should be paying more attention.
        I’ve been too busy observing that in my life time the entire character of the Peninsula has changed through massive development.

        I’m just off to wade through all the sensitive flora and fauna, pausing only to admire the completely unspoilt scenery, whilst trying not to trip over the hoards of tourists (while we still have them).

  41. I never once said military and yes I openly admit that i wish Polaris did not happen and bring thousands of personnel into small tight knit rural communities. I do not think that the urbanisation of our communities has been for the better. Large numbers of MoD personnel were shipped in and contrary to your assertion, housed in Rosneath, Craigrownie, Rhu and Lochview. This housing was not for military personnel but MoD personnel

  42. 11MW on an electrical pole (Not Pylon) has you say lol you obviously no nothing about electricaal engineering and with ref to the pictures!!! I was going to pass them on however with your remarks you will have to wait now until they are published!!!!!

    • “with ref to the pictures!!! I was going to pass them on however with your remarks you will have to wait now until they are published!!!!!”

      Why, because I’m skeptical, having spent many years wandering the hills around Lindowan and become intimate with its wildlife, that you have seen what you claim to have seen? Photos or it never happened, Mr Walker. You’ve made a number of outlandish claims. It’s about time you stumped up.

      Apart from anything else, if there are, as you claim, ospreys regularly visiting Lindowan, the Club Committee should be made aware of this. It will have an impact on the Club’s activities up there, and quite possibly on its attitude to stocking and other management issues. If Lindowan is the ospreys’ regular larder, as you suggest (in addition to that of the cormorant I witnessed taking a trout), then that needs to be investigated and the loch’s management adjusted accordingly.

      • I can assure you me and Jayne Wright have spent many hours up Lindowen this year discussing this and the stocking policies. It will not at present have an impact has you say. Only at the last AGM anglers were incouraged to remove more fish from the Loch this was also one of he governing factors why the water was not stocked this year due to the number of fish. As far has outlandishclaims your not doing to bad your self!!! I’m sure if you contact the Club secretary Julian he will confirm this.

      • To add, if what you say is at all true, this could be very serious news indeed, if not possibly disastrous, for the Angling Club. They are being forced by the legislature to reduce the water level at Lindowan, and if this loch is now, as you claim, a habitat for ospreys, it’s likely to complicate matters enormously as any changes to such a habitat may be deemed to fall under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, necessitating at least an official survey, if not a full-blooded Environmental Impact Assessment, and after that, who knows?

  43. Also can you explain why the planning has not been put in for these? Does this mean that the whole planning process will have to be completed again for grid connections?

    • Can I address a few comments in one please ?-

      Graham – I believe Planning approval for the connection line is not part of this process. I understand it is handled by SSE who ‘complete’ the connection and they advise the LA.
      I can’t remember where I saw the bit about underground cabling, although it was stated this was the Trust’s preference.

      Dave Watson – I think the best views in any direction are actually from the National Park – which is situated just opposite you- and in this instance, its visitors and residents will get the roughest deal(s) of all.
      Further, the cranes are of historical significance- which a wind turbine will never be.

      delusionalbint – I have heard that suggestion before….and treated with with the same disbelief as I do now.
      And given the amount BA spent on that unpopular move……..

      • “I think the best views in any direction are actually from the National Park – which is situated just opposite you- and in this instance, its visitors and residents will get the roughest deal(s) of all.”

        Zak – We’ll all have our own favourites, but in my opinion the best views on the Clyde, arguably in the whole of Scotland, are, ironically, from around the location where the wind farm is proposed to be sited, looking north to the Arrochar Alps, west over Argyll and south down to Arran and beyond. A sensitively designed viewpoint with access, and perhaps parking and other facilities up there (as they have at the nature reserve at Coulport, with no apparent great ill effects on the fauna), would be well frequented and quite a draw, I’m sure.

        Visitors and residents “over there” already get a pretty rough deal from the gigantic structures associated with the MoD base, both in daylight and particularly at night, when the light spill is unbelievable – compared to which I’d say the proposed wind farm is not going to be particularly impactful.

        “Further, the cranes are of historical significance …”

        The ones I’m referring to are still very much in use, but in any case, what you say would be irrelevant to their appearance, which isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing unless heavy industry rings your bell.

        As I’ve been saying all along, and as this underlines, this is not a virgin landscape by any means, and we residents, tourists and the wildlife have adapted to much worse impositions in the past!

  44. Dave.
    The IBM factory and Amazon are sited in folds in the landscape {Ref:section 7 of A&B Windfarm scoping study) and can only be seen from close by, the cranes at Greenock are set against the housing and painted drab colours to blend in.
    They are not stuck on the crest of a hill, painted white to stand out and then enhanced by flourescent red bands and tips to the blades and a flashing strobe light.
    Rodney

    • What nonsense. I can see both factories very clearly indeed without any visual aids whatesoever from where I live in Kilcreggan, Mr Snook, along with a particularly ugly antenna installation standling starkly exposed against the skyline on the hillside above Greenock, to mention only a scant few of the non-natural features on that side of the Clyde we on the Peninsula overlook. The cranes at Greenock dominate that area of the Clyde to the extent of being a landmark, and are again clearly visible from here no matter what their colour. They’re by now part of the scenery, as would the turbines eventually be if the plans go ahead.

      Greenock and Gourock get by far the better deal of it when it comes to views to the north, as anyone who’s visited there can attest, and I can’t see why an attempt at progress and sustainability over here should be impeded by that consideration when it’s not been reciprocated in the past.

      • To add to this as well, today is one of the few clear days we’ve had for what seems like a long, long time. But even so, there is quite a haze, which tempers the obtrusiveness of the larger man-made structures around Inverclyde.

        This is not a one-way phenomenon. Given the weather over the past year or so, people on the other side of the Clyde will be lucky to even see the Peninsula, let alone structures some miles up the coast!

  45. Perhaps the trust has missed a trick in sticking to the traditional and could make a real feature of the wind turbines by inviting guest artist to submit their artist designs for them in the same way as BA have done with their aircraft thus making the wind farm a tourist attraction!!

  46. Again David you are miss informed, SEPA have now taken over as the enforcing authority for the Reservoirs Act 1975. This was why I was talking to the 2 SEPA reps a few weeks ago. There have been no “forced by the legislature to reduce the water level at Lindowan” has you have informed me. There were two points that have to be looked at and advised by the 10 year inspection and these are the following.

    • Raise the dam level over 40m
    • Reinstate the emergency score valve system

    So again nothing you have quoted is true. I’m sure if you contact the angling club they will forward you the minuets of last year’s AGM from where I took the passage. Obviously you believe nothing that I say and are just tunnelled versioned to what you believe and obviously do not believe any other person on this blog!!!

  47. What I described was the situation the last time I discussed the situation with a Committee member, at a time when it was the cause of much agitation. The 2012 AGM minutes read:

    “Lindowan’s 10 year statutory inspection was carried out by an inspecting engineer in early November. Although the club has not yet received the report, it is likely that certain actions will be required of the club.

    • Raise the dam level over 40m
    • Reinstate the emergency score valve system

    it should be reiterated that we have not yet received the report.”

    The 2012 SGM Minutes outlined the work you describe, and said:

    “It is hoped that this work can be carried out without affecting the water level at Lindowan.”

    Note: “it is hoped”.

    i have not seen any communication from the Club since in order to be informed of what actually transpired and the changed situation – shock horror!!! A local organisation is dilatory in circulating information! It must, simply MUST be a dark conspiracy! Off with their heads!

    I’m pleased to learn that the worst that was anticipated (if you don’t know that a significant permanent reduction in the reservoir level was at one point very much on the cards, then you’re misinformed yourself) has not come to pass. Nevertheless, if a highly protected species is proven to have made Lindowan a regular part of its habitat, this is likely to have wide-ranging ramifications.

    “This was why I was talking to the 2 SEPA reps a few weeks ago.”

    And what was their reaction when you mentioned your claim about the presence of ospreys at Lindowan?

    “Obviously you believe nothing that I say and are just tunnelled versioned to what you believe and obviously do not believe any other person on this blog!!!”

    This is far, far, far beyond the bounds of irony! Ever heard of The Parable of the Mote and the Beam?

  48. I expected better than an ‘it’s misty – you won’t see them’ argument .
    I agree with Zak’s response to you – we should be thinking beyond the peninsula’s desires and look at the extended effect of this development.

    • Mr Holmes – And how much of your and my tax money goes to subsidizing nuclear power (hint: it’s actually infinite, since we still have no idea how to store the waste products and the problem wont go away in a great hurry, not to mention the enormous ongoing on-the-books accounted-for subsidies), let alone run the bases, from which I may apparently be unique in the area in not benefiting from a single paltry jot for all my outlay?

      Anyway, what a straw man! The wind farm in question wouldn’t be subsidized to the tune of £1 billion or anywhere near it.

      Are you in the habit of conflating the subsidy for a whole industry with that for a single, relatively minor, project? Based on this evidence of financial acumen, is your name George Osborne, by any chance?

    • “I expected better than an ‘it’s misty – you won’t see them’”

      Yeah, to heck with the on-the-ground actual reality, it’s so inconvenient – let’s not spoil the hyped-up hysteria about visual impact based on photos taken on one of the few clear haze-free days this area ever sees, not the weather conditions that actually prevail in the area and we all live with!

      What “extended effect”? Please be specific, Mr green. Or are you so green that you’re willing to block out the fact that this area is overshadowed by the impact from the military bases that dwarfs any other impacts?

      • Actually Mr Watson – if I remember rightly, if you look at the photomontages you will see they were taken on two different days, almost 6 months apart.
        I started to list the extended effect for you and thought – well, if the reality of marring one of the most iconic views, and introductions to, the Highlands, (and not least the internationally important National Park), -as well as the effect of that on the surrounding residents, businesses, and our tourists,- can’t be appreciated or understood, then I feel great sorrow.

      • Mr green, over the years I have introduced a number of people visiting from around the world to this, “one of the most iconic views, and introductions to, the Highlands”.

        Their major impression – conveyed with a sentiment of “How can you allow this, let alone live with it?!” has been that of an area of great beauty totally overrun with sinister-seeming military establishments and all that goes with them.

        i keep pointing this factor out because we who live here can tend to blank it out of our everyday perception for sheer survival and sanity needs – you don’t react to it much because it’s there all the time. Novelty is challenging. How many thought they could get used to the miles of razor wire along the Faslane roadside when it first appeared? Does it even register for locals most of the time nowadays?.We’d no doubt be actually within the National Park boundary if it weren’t for the bases.

        Were these acquaintances to visit again, and were there to be wind farm on the hill, I doubt that it would make their experience that much worse. It might even leaven it, much as people used to enjoy visiting what used to be the Cove Conservation Park before its demise, and enjoy the fact that they could see a functioning turbine (now sadly gone) that powered the establishment.

  49. Mr Watson, I would like to answer your quote “It’s a question of proportion. A few windmills on a hill and a modest taxpayer subsidy pales in comparison, and looks like it could bring real direct local benefits.”

    Only a few will ever benefit from any monies that are actually received, if any!

    It costs the tax payer £1billion pounds per year to subsidize wind turbines, hardly modest although it may be to you!

    • Lies, damn lies and statistics; it doesn’t differentiate between different makes of turbine, takes no note of local historical wind data, and there’s no analysis of what the causes of failure are or why they were not repaired promptly. It’s interesting, but it’s half a job; he hasn’t finished the research, he’s stopped at the point where there are some soundbites to sell. If he was doing this as a thesis his tutor would be sending him away to finish it properly.

  50. TEN FACTS ABOUT WILDLIFE AND WINDFARMS

    1. Birds most at risk from wind turbines have been shown to be birds of prey and waterfowl. Passerines are at slightly lesser risk but are still impacted.
    Useful references: Desholm, M. 2009, Journal of Environmental Management, 90, 2672-2679; Madson & Boertman, 2008, Landscape Ecology, 23, 1007-1011

    2. It is not just a simple matter of wind turbines killing birds by collisions because they migrate across the site or nest close to developments. What also matters is the presence of turbines, especially in arrays, located between the roosting, nesting or foraging sites of birds because the turbines form a ‘barrier’ the birds cannot or will not cross.
    Useful reference: Ferrer et al., 2012. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 38-46.

    3. Flying over or diverting around wind farms to reach foraging or roosting sites has high energy costs for birds, as the higher or further they fly the greater metabolic demand this imposes on them. This can be critical during the winter when food is scarce and the air temperature is low.
    Useful reference: Sugimoto et al., 2011. Ornithological Science, 10, 61-71.

    4. Grassland birds, such as lapwing that forage on the ground, are mainly impacted by turbines because the turbines prevent or deter their movement between forage and roost sites.
    Useful reference: Pruett, et al., 2009. Bioscience, 59, 257-262.

    5. An 11-year study of bird mortality in relation to wind farm developments at coastal regions in Northumbria found that between 16 and 21 birds were killed per turbine per year, mainly by collision. Affected species tended to be guillemots, kittiwakes, gulls and pigeons.
    Reference: Newton & Little, 2009, Bird Studies, 56, 158-167.

    6. Mortality of raptors from turbines has been found not to correlate with bird abundance. Rather mortality depends on turbine height and elevation above sea level. The taller or higher the turbine the greater the mortality rate.
    Reference: De Lucas et al., 2008. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 1695-1703.

    7. Male birds tend to be killed more frequently by turbines than females because they spend more time foraging. However, chicks suffer and may die indirectly because they depend on food foraged by males to supplement that obtained by females.
    Reference: Stienen et al., 2008. Condor, 110, 154-157.

    8. Some wildlife species, including birds and squirrels, have been shown to suffer stress (as indicated by high alertness behaviour and alarm calling) in the vicinity of wind turbines compared to animals under control (no turbine) conditions. It is well known that prolonged (chronic) exposure to stress reduces fecundity, immunity, growth and longevity in many animal species.
    Reference: Kikuchi, 2008. Journal for Nature Conservation, 16, 44-55.

    9. Poor correlation exists between pre-wind farm development risk assessments and actual post construction recorded deaths. Deaths are often underestimated because carcases attract scavenging birds. These, in turn, are then struck by the blades and die, thus pushing up the overall death count.
    Reference: Smallwood et al., 2010. Journal of Wildlife Management, 74, 1089-1097.

    10. Assessment of bird or bat mortality by counting carcases is also unreliable if other scavengers (eg foxes) remove corpses from the area, especially at night, before counting is undertaken. Therefore recorded mortality rates due to collision are probably less than the real death toll.
    Reference: Korner-Nievergelt et al., 2011, Wildlife Biology, 17, 350-363.

    • LOL!

      OK, if we’re into the blind link silly hour, here’s one for the conspiracy theorists:

      Koch Brothers Fund Bogus Studies to Kill Renewable Energy

      You can say one thing about the Koch brothers: They don’t let the facts get in their way. Of course I’m talking about Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire owners of Koch Industries, the oil, coal and natural gas conglomerate that’s been dubbed the “kingpin of climate science denial.”
      [snip]
      To make its case, ALEC — whose members include major coal, oil and electric utility industry companies — cites analyses by Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute commissioned by the Koch-funded American Tradition Institute and “free-market” state think tanks associated with the Koch-funded State Policy Network. The analyses examine current or proposed standards in more than a dozen states, including Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and New Jersey. The studies were partly funded by, you guessed it, the Koch brothers.

      The fact that the Kochs funded the studies doesn’t automatically mean they’re biased. In this case, however, Beacon Hill research economist Michael Head essentially conceded to Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin that he and his colleagues fudged their findings.

      That’s right.

      Beacon Hill, Eilperin reported, “assumed that the Energy Information Administration’s projected renewable energy price estimates are too low, and that cost-containment measures embedded in state policies will fail.” Head told her that he and his co-authors doubted the cost caps, which place a ceiling on how high monthly consumer electricity rates can go to meet renewable standards, would take effect. “We just left it out so we could provide the actual analysis of the policy itself,” he explained.

      More; http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/12/koch-brothers-fund-bogus-studies-to-kill-renewable-energy

      • And one from the RSPB for luck (my bold):

        How do wind farms affect birds?

        The available evidence suggests that wind farms can harm birds in three possible ways – disturbance, habitat loss (both direct and/or indirect) and collision.

        Some poorly sited wind farms have caused major bird casualties, particularly at Tarifa and Navarra in Spain, and the Altamont Pass in California. At these sites, planners failed to consider adequately the likely impact of putting hundreds, or even thousands, of turbines in areas that are important for birds of prey.

        Thorough environmental assessment is vital to ensure that all ecological impacts are fully identified prior to consent of any development. If wind farms are located away from major migration routes and important feeding, breeding and roosting areas of those bird species known or suspected to be at risk, it is likely that they will have minimal impacts.
        We are involved in scrutinising hundreds of wind farm applications every year to determine their likely wildlife impacts, and we ultimately object to about 6% of those we engage with, because they threaten bird populations. Where developers are willing to adapt plans to reduce impacts to acceptable levels we withdraw our objections, in other cases we robustly oppose them.
        [snipped to comply with standard four-paragraph fair usage guidelines]

        More:http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/windfarms/index.aspx

        (I haven’t been able to find a link for the impact on bird life of people storming around in 4X4s for fun, but there’s probably research out there.)

    • Drat. i was just gong to suggest that the Trust site massive loudspeakers on the hill and simulate the sounds of Mr Miller’s homely setup, and everybody’d be happy.

      Oh well. Back to the drawing board.

  51. Mr Watson,
    personally I don’t want to criticise any persons, my argument is purely with the wind turbines and the total non viability of use without tax payers grants. A WT is not carbon neutral and will never reduce CO2 emissions & costs us billions per year in charges on our fuel bills.

    I can understand why persons would seek to gain financial advantage from sighting these monstrosities on our landscape for financial gain.

    I have no objection to the farmer trying to make money. he has to explore every opportunity that’s available to him.

    Do we really need 3 Post Offices within 4 miles of each other? Kilcreggan has and always will be a place for the well off, the retired person. If it wasn’t for Faslane and Coulport Rosneath, and parts of Kilcreggan would not exist.

    Life is changing and evolving with modern technology, do we really need a Library? Look at most high streets:- Dumbarton, Greenock. Alexandria all the shops are dying because of the internet, nothing will change this, it is the evolution life today living in our village.

    What I would say is if all the money went to every person in the community to help pay their fuel bills then I may be in favour, however this will never happen.

    Isn’t it ironic if the WF was to go ahead there are people on the peninsula who cant afford to pay their fuel bills, how does it help them……it doesn’t it only increases their ever increasing bill.

    • EXACTLY:-

      “What I would say is if all the money went to every person in the community to help pay their fuel bills then I may be in favour, however this will never happen.”

      This would have been the best ‘sell’ ever, free electricity for all on the Peninsula; not rocket science, who would have not supported it? Especially the more vulnerable in the community.

      • John after reading through some of the supporters comments on AAB one person has put looking forward to getting free electricity.!!!!LOL what have they been promised if you lodge your support! to the WF!!! This is how some eople are so gullable to this whole idea!!!

  52. “Kilcreggan has and always will be a place for the well off, the retired person.”

    Good Lord, what a misconception. Do you actually live here? Given your comments about the post offices and library, I’d guess not. I suppose we don’t really need a ferry either, as that’s subsidized. When it comes down to it, no we don’t need anything. We can just live a thoroughly miserable life without any amenities in a decaying community and sit around waiting for somebody else to come up with something approaching a solution rather than attemping to find one ourselves.

    No, Mr Holmes, we’re far from all “well off, retired”, as a walk around one of the schemes on the Peninsula would very quickly prove to you, and there are, believe it or not, those of us who live elsewhere in the village who don’t.fit that description either.

    • Mr Holmes, I would like to reiterate what Dave has said, you are so totally wrong with your conception of the majority of the residents of the Peninsula. As far as wind farm subsidies are concerned, we will all continue to pay for them in our bills whether the proposed wind farm at Cove comes to fruition or not, with the vast majority of the subsidies going to large companies or rich land owners, so why not a small amount for our community? What Post Offices and Libraries have to do with the subsidies I’m not sure.
      By the way Dave your ‘tongue in cheek’ comments are a welcome relief and have added a little ‘light entertainment’ to the otherwise dreary rantings of some of the bloggers’

  53. THE WIND FARM HAS DIVIDED THE COMMUNITY

    Cast your mind back to 24th March 2012, a beautiful warm sunny early spring day when the community came together to protest against the new proposed ferry service, We had free hot dogs, councillors, MSP and the media – we were all in it together for the cause.

    Move on a year, ‘will things ever be the same again?’ The community is split over this Wind Farm nonsense, a project that would only succeed in dividing the community further. Has Pandora’s Box opened?

    Surely for the sake of the community, this needs to stop.

  54. Oh Sherlock…. Just when I thought you and I were getting along I am going to go and spoil it by saying stuff again. Post Offices, do we need so many? I think they are a community lifeline especially for the elderly who may not have a car or the energy to walk great distances and without the internet will do most of their personal business through their local post office.
    Libraries I am afraid are the same, very very necessary because the book is not yet extinct and huge numbers of people have never switched on a computer. Rosneath Library works closely with the Primary School, provides internet access for many who cannot afford it, provide access to public documents e.g. Draft Consultations and nurtures a love of reading for all no matter what your income or circumstances. Terry Deary who made a fortune from Horrible Histories has incurred the wrath of Neil Gaimen and many other authors for a similar view http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/feb/15/julia-donaldson-libraries-terry-deary-attack

    John I am glad you felt the same spirit of community that day on the pier, but I wouldn’t worry things will get back to normal after a while what ever the outcome, after all we all die eventually 😀
    Just a footnote, thanks to Harry Cathcart who on hearing I had bought hotdogs insisted on paying for them.

    • Good old Harry, he told me he personally supplied all the hot dogs, the Cove and Kilcreggan Trust paid for them as far as I believe. But it was a great gesture and showed the strength of the community. I hope this does not kill the community.

  55. so much to say and a busy day ahead, silly me….
    Sherlock sweetie another wee correction ” If it wasn’t for Faslane and Coulport Rosneath, and parts of Kilcreggan would not exist.”

    Well Rosneath would exist as it did before as a small rural community. As someone who’s family has several generations born and bred there I can safely say it most definitely did exist and has a long interesting history.

    and John well…
    “This would have been the best ‘sell’ ever, free electricity for all on the Peninsula; not rocket science, who would have not supported it? Especially the more vulnerable in the community.”

    ….. the notion that community projects are a waste of any proposed revenue but the idea of putting money directly into people’s pockets could somehow negate all other reasons for opposition is quite telling is it not!

    Would the less wealthy in their little homes not feel cheated that they were getting a smaller share than those in a big draughty Victorian villa, who could be perceived as well able to pay their own bills? That would be an impossible task to administer fairly and where would you draw the lines for usage?

    • Oh DB, what a silly girl you are. Would it not be a fantastic community gesture for all those in fuel poverty not to worry about keeping warm; and the community could be promoted as the first in the United Kingdom to deliver free (or subsidised) energy to its population – what a publicity coup. But no, we the committee know better and will TELL YOU what you want.

      One final point, a small one bedroom house or a ten bedroom villa, fuel poverty is a reality, I would bet a very large proportion of properties on this peninsula are not adequately heated due to finance issues. And I could take you to one such house where there has been no LPG for over a year, but someones living there.

      • Let’s see. Mr Younger above wails “THE WIND FARM HAS DIVIDED THE COMMUNITY”, but has no problem referring to an evidently fully grown woman as “a silly girl“, refers to those who support the Trust’s ideas as “sheep” (as does Mr Snook above), and has no problem with repeated unfounded allegations about other members of the community and their motivations.

        It’s not the wind farm that’s “dividing the community”, Mr Younger (don’t kid yourself that this is a representative cross-section), but some of the conduct from the antis on this post’s comments has been absolutely disgraceful. If you don’t want division, the remedy is in your hands.

      • OK, then, since it’s all gone quiet and in the interests of respectful discourse, let’s give this proposal some consideration, unpack it, and see how “silly” it proves.

        Mr Holmes: “What I would say is if all the money went to every person in the community to help pay their fuel bills then I may be in favour, however this will never happen.”

        1. I’m not clear that the terms of incorporation etc. of the Trust would allow it to instigate such a scheme, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume that could be navigated somehow.
        This is money that would then not be available for activities the community has set as priorities in the consultation to draw up the CAP. Mr Younger, you must have missed it, but the community has already TOLD THE COMMITTEE what it wants – none of which included such a proposal.

        2. Are you really proposing a subsidy for every household on the Peninsula and environs regardless of means? If not, would that not itself lead to long-term divisions and resentment?
        Within what boundaries?
        How would it be administered? Given the extreme animosity and mistrust expressed towards the Trust board by a very vocal minority here, would they be given the task? If not, who?
        What percentage?
        If 100% free, which Mr Younger suggests as an option, would it apply no matter how much electricity a household uses, even if it was wantonly wasteful (see point 4 below)?
        How much would all that cost?
        What about households, like a number on the Peninsula, that have installed solar panels etc. to mitigate their electricity usage? Are they going to forfeit the benefit and therefore be penalized compared to others simply because they’ve had the will, means and forethought to invest their own money in generating their own electricity, or will it just be a recurring cash windfall for them?

        3. I am positive that a subsidy such as this would be classed by Inland Revenue as household income, and taxed accordingly. It would also have to be declared and taken into account for any means-tested benefits, which would no doubt include a number of households in fuel poverty. For the least fortunate, it would lead to a pound-for-pound loss of state benefit, and all sorts of other unintended side effects, making it a very inefficient use of the income from the proposed wind farm, with few, if any, positive effects for those in the greatest need, but fattening the exchequer to no local benefit.

        4. Such a subsidy would clearly conflict with incentives for energy efficiency – a field in which the Trust has already undertaken initiatives, but which some of the most vociferous opposing voices here choose to ignore and give it no credit.

        I could go on – without recourse to patronizing, divisive name-calling – but need I?

      • As I am rapidly approaching my fifties this comment has caused so much hilarity locally that I received several messages this afternoon. However if it makes you feel better to call me a silly girl John carry on….

        I don’t really wish to disclose my whole life online but as someone who while in full time employment (with no credit card debt, no finance, no car, Sky TV, landline or internet) was forced to give up my own home and move in with my mother because the heating expense in winter meant I had to choose between food or heating I am hardly a naive wee soul looking at the world through rose tinted spectacles.

        I still however think that good community projects are worth more than individual monetary gain. Perhaps some of us don’t view personal financial pay-off as the biggest incentive in our lives or our greatest motivator.

        I will continue to watch and listen to what the Trust and the Community Councils are doing and planning for the future of this community because I sincerely hope that the Peninsula will remain my family’s home for several more generations.

      • Put it this way: you come at me at 15 m.p.h., I’m in trouble and unlikely to be thinking about having a snack or breeding or nurturing my young or resting. This apart from the noise and other disruption. So very selective in outrage.

  56. Sherlock sweetie another wee correction ” If it wasn’t for Faslane and Coulport Rosneath, and parts of Kilcreggan would not exist.”

    Just in case you missed it I said “parts”! Without the money the MOD has brought to the area there would probably not be as many people living here as there are now! Without the financial support it has provided over the years you may have lost services prior to now!

    Was some of Rosneath not built as MOD housing as well as Lochview etc?

    “Well Rosneath would exist as it did before as a small rural community. As someone who’s family has several generations born and bred there I can safely say it most definitely did exist and has a long interesting history.” – Absolutely correct!

    It will also live long and prosper without a wind farm!

  57. Sorry Sherlock I took your wording far too literally.. “Rosneath and parts of”, see what happened there, it’s all in the placing of the words, now if the parts of had come first I wouldn’t have got in such a muddle, oh what a silly girl I am 😀

  58. John, nearly 2hours and no one has come back at you and said you are talking rubbish!!!! Perhaps we have more followers and objectors than we thought lol it will be interesting what rubbish and excuses the supporters come back with this time?

  59. Seriously though, I read this blog entry and I find the high levels of Trust Paranoia and vitriol a bit absurd. The Trust are trying to do something to help the community and win or lose, they can at least say they tried. I doubt very much this peninsula will see such an immense community led effort to improve itself for a very long time, if ever, because the sheer amount of work and commitment needed is huge. For that, they get my gratitude.

    • I commend their efforts, although still find it a waste of public money and misguided- BUT think what could happen if these efforts were channelled to really useful causes- then it really could be a great wee place to live !
      By the way if I hear the tennis courts dilapidation mentioned one more time I’ll scream – I’ll lend you a lawnmower and some garden tools for heaven’s sakes – never heard of a ‘green gym?

  60. tsk tsk I will say it again, user names are just not approved of on here, I have been accused of being several people, a member of the ‘TRUST’, CND and generally vilified for having a bloggers name which pre-dates any of these ‘debates’ so I think it only fair that everyone does as I did and reveal their identity or is it no longer an issue, it hasn’t been mentioned recently…

  61. Not worth setting up a new email for – but to the gent on face book who thinks a few birds aren’t worth bothering about – ever heard of the ‘food chain’ and a wee thing called ecology ?
    It’s what keeps the planet going …….
    Signed- Laura Green.

  62. We have been waiting for movement on this planning application and at last the wheels have been given a push.
    The RPWCDT have submitted a few more documents to Argyll and Bute Council ABC and I understand that they may have had another try at photo montages and this time actually shown a few wind turbines, I understand these may have been sent to Scottish National heritage SNH but have not been seen yet by the planning authority. I therefore cannot say if these include all the views asked for, or if the new attempts meet the SNH guidelines.
    The Lomond and Trossachs National Park NP may at last make their recommendation to ABC. The NP planning meeting took place yesterday, Monday afternoon and had before it a recommendation, available on the NP web site, to support the application for the Wind Farm. The meeting was very cordial and no members of the public were allowed to speak. This agenda item was to formulate the NP comments to ABC not to determine the planning application. After the presentation by the NP landscape planners Mr David Mckenzie proposed that the NP Planning Board reject the recommendation of their staff planners and enter a strong objection to ABC that the Wind Farm proposal on the basis that it would cause serious adverse affects on the tourist and leisure business in the Western part of the NP and surrounding areas and would have the same serious negative impact on Loch Long which is currently being promoted as the Marine Gateway to the highlands for cruise ship trade via Greenock and the £70M investment in Arrochar. This was passed unanimously and further to the main objection NP will press ABC to have an economic assessment of the potential effects on local bussiness by such applications for wind farms. It would appear that the mere threat of a wind farm has significant effects in tourist numbers, house prices etc.

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