The arguments for and against the UK’s largest community wind farm are still raging, with confirmation that the first planning meeting could be held within seven weeks.
A 42-page document addressing objections has been submitted by Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust, which wants to build Cove Community Wind Farm.
Meanwhile comedian and actor Griff Rhys Jones has joined the list of those opposing plans for five 92-metre turbines on the Rosneath Peninsula.
Trust directors have submitted a detailed document which is available on Argyll and Bute Council’s website here. They say the trust fully respects different views and opinions, but say many points have been answered in the environmental impact assessment or elsewhere, adding:
Some are expressing personal views, which they are clearly entitled to put forward, but which the trust believes it is important to set alongside qualified and experienced professional assessment, which follows recognised standards.
Others make assertions which do not appear to be borne out by the available evidence.
They go on to say that the paper aims to correct material factual inaccuracies made in comments by the public, highlighting points in the environmental statement and making additional points under ten headings including policies and plans, visual impact, ornithology, tourism and community benefit – the trust hopes to raise over £300,000 per year for projects in Cove, Kilcreggan, Ardpeaton, Peaton and Portkil.
Griff Rhys Jones, who first became famous in Not the Nine O’Clock News and has gone on to present and write many television programmes, was quoted in the national press last year attacking the hypocrisy of wind farms. His objection to the Cove plan states:
Random erections of onshore wind farms require plant and infrastructure support which make them uneconomic. This development is proposed because of subsidy alone.
This is an area of great natural beauty. It has an abundant tourist income. It has abundant wildlife that will be threatened.
You have received thousands of individual protests and the authority should take note of the strong local opposition.
In fact around 1,300 comments have been received by the council, with a majority in support.
A council spokesperson said this week that the proposal was likely to be considered by the planning, protective services and licensing committee on June 19.
The most likely outcome is thought to be that the committee would want to continue the application to a subsequent date when they could convene a local hearing in view of the large number of representations received, for and against.