Wind turbine plan runs into opposition

A wind turbine planned for Cove has prompted objections from three community councils.

It would be a ‘major visual intrusion’ and highly visible from many areas, according to Rhu and Shandon community councillors.

They have lodged an objection to the plan for South Ailey Farm in Cove, which was first revealed here.

And Hunters Quay Community Council voted unanimously to object to the proposal, stating it would be ‘a total blot on the skyline from all directions in this area… and a complete visitor and tourist deterrent’.

Nearby Kilmun Community Council – which covers an area which is part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park – has also lodged an objection, saying it would ‘dominate the surrounding panoramic views’.

They also argue that wind data should be included with the application, saying the collapse of the Cove Community Wind Farm project showed wind speeds on the peninsula ‘are insufficient for turbine development’.

A letter from the Rhu and Shandon community council says the 74-metre turbine would actually be 232 metres above sea level: “It would be located on top of a pronounced hilltop at a most prominent spot at the end of the Rosneath peninsula.”

It adds that the turbine would in clear view of part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, such as Strone and Blairmore, and quotes Visit Scotland as saying wind turbines are detrimental to tourism.

Only three viewpoints are included in the planning statement, and the letter calls for viewpoints from Helensburgh, Rhu and Shandon to be added, stating that the supporting planning statement by Mosscliff Environmental has ‘a number of shortcomings’ and the visual impact assessment is ‘inadequate’.

Argyll and Bute Council’s landscape wind energy capacity study is also quoted, stating that 50 metres is the maximum height for turbines in this area.

Details of the plan are available on the council’s website – the reference number is 13/01742. Several members of the public have registered objections, while the RSPB has said more information is needed.