Local hearing to decide on wind farm

A public hearing will make the final decision on plans for the UK’s biggest community wind farm.

More than 2,500 people have made comments on the Cove Community Wind Farm, so Argyll and Bute councillors today decided that a hearing was needed.

The plans by the Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust were opposed by council officers, but they advised that a discretionary hearing should be held because there was so much public interest.

A total of 1,413 people  wrote to the council in support of the plans for five 92-metre turbines, which would generate over £300,000 for the communities in Cove, Kilcreggan, Peaton, Portkil and Ardpeaton.

But 1,108 comments in opposition have been lodged by members of the public, as well as Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park .

Planning officer Richard Kerr told the meeting that the site was in a ‘pivotal situation’ in relation to the Clyde; the site was below the ridgeline of the Rosneath Peninsula and the aim was to generate revenue so that a community action plan could be delivered.

He said a discretionary hearing would be the best option, ‘on this strength of representations both from the public and community councils’.

Committee chair Sandy Taylor agreed and the committee unanimously supported this.

Islay councillor Robin Currie pointed out: “This will cost nearly £3,000 to keep the objectors and supporters in touch and tell them if there is an outcome.”

But head of governance and law Charles Reppke said the mailing costs were in line with best practice and normal for this type of hearing.

Cllr George Freeman said these costs were not unusual for fish farm and wind farm applications, although in this case comments had come from as far afield as Pennsylvania.

He asked for the hearing to be held at Cove Burgh Hall, but Mr Reppke said the decision would be taken by the committee chair who would compare that with the Victoria Halls in Helensburgh.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) was against the plan, warning of ‘significant adverse landscape and visual impacts in relation to parts of the national park and parts of the upper Firth of Clyde and adjacent coasts’ and said it would ‘erode the character of a highly sensitive coastal landscape and set an unwelcome precedent’.

MoD contractors Denbridge Marine and Scottish Water also lodged holding objections, saying the line of sight for a microwave link would be affected.

The 50-page report for today’s (Wednesday’s) meeting said a key issue was the scale of the turbines: “Notwithstanding firstly, the contribution that this proposal could make towards combating climate change, and secondly, the community-based nature of the proposal with its attendant potential to fund projects in the locality, development giving rise to locally inappropriate environmental consequences cannot be regarded as being sustainable, and consequently, the proposal is recommended for refusal.”

© The Lochside Press

15 Comments

    • that is a lot of cement…………………………..I thought these things were supposed to be environmentally friendly ?

  1. The sooner the hearing comes the better and get these Windmills knocked in the head ,the Trust don’t seem to have listened to advice given to them by SNH and others .Maybe then the Trust will do as other Trusts have done and deliver something the village needs instead of thier fancy ideas.

    • If you have an idea of something the Trust to should look at make a suggestion, or join and put yourself forward as a candidate for director; if you don’t tell them they won’t know. The Action Plan gives a reasonable list of things to be going on with as nominated by locals, but without an income stream little of it can be realised; if not from the windfarm there are few possible sources of sustained income available to deliver things the village needs or wants, and the money certainly won’t be forthcoming from the council.

      • The Trust could do the same as other Trusts and run events etc to get money for some of the list you refer to ,once they have money in the bank for a project they could apply to the lottery, Council,the area committee give grants ,Sport Scotland and more .
        As far as i am aware the Council has supported a number projects through out Helensburgh & Lomond!!

  2. Tom, I’m so glad someone else thinks the same. According to some on here whenever I say or quote anything I’m incorrect. Or I’m telling lies about the trust or spreading a conspiracy about the trust. Like you say the sooner this is put to bed the better. Mind you not until another £3000 is wasted telling everyone what is going on, when services are already struggling and could do with all the money they can. Let’s just hope justice is done in the end.

    • Tbh I really can’t see any number of events making even a tiny hole in the amount the trust wants to raise. Fetes, concerts etc are like pub football teams compared to the wind farm premier league of revenue generation.
      On the other hand I’ve never been convinced by the validity of this community action plan. OK lots of people said they wanted all those things (I didn’t) but that result would have happened in any similarly sized community. Sorry, but aspirations such as affordable housing etc are not always realistic

  3. “The problem with the Trust is they do not listen or reply to perfectly simple and helpful suggestions posted on their Website. Most of the Community Action Plan could be delivered for little or no money. The paltry couple of things they have attempted to do are not in the CAP and with the ‘help’ of the Trust they have verged on failure or failed completely. If the Trust’s vision of the future is anything like their performance so far, they would be better to stay out of village life.”

    • I’m sure the Trust would be delighted to hear details of how to provide most of the Action Plan for gratis; you should contact them and share your knowledge.

  4. Haaa yes I would love to contact them. I have tried on seven attempts to contact them by email and not one reply. So if you could suggest how this might be achieved please pass it on. I can always Cc The Lochside Press so there will be no mistake and accusations that lies is being told on my part. I wait with anticipation.

  5. I see from the council website that more than 900 lorry trips will be needed in the construction. Many many lorry loads of concrete included. How green would that be then?

  6. 900 trips at least 34 miles if they come from Helensburgh (I think not) average Scania 3.7 or 5.2 Ltr 6/7 miles to the gallon so 6gallon round trip x 900 = 5,400 gallon does not seem that GREEN to me.

    • Interesting story on here about hydro schemes. Would there have been objections to hydro on the peninsula? Someone certainly thinks its feasible – see the story from June 8 last year

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