Poll blow for wind farm as 89% say they’re against plans

Nearly 90% of people who responded to a survey said they were against a wind farm planned for land above Helensburgh and Rhu.

The potential view from Lomond School's sports field in Helensburgh
The potential view from Lomond School’s sports field in Helensburgh

A formal objection to the Helensburgh Community Wind Farm has now been lodged by Rhu and Shandon Community Council, which organised the poll.

Ballot forms were delivered to every household in Rhu and Shandon but only 11% of the 175 people who responded were in favour of the five 86-metre turbines, with 89% against.

The site at Tom na h-Airidh hill is actually in Rhu and Shandon’s area, but the proposals stem from Helensburgh Community Development Trust, set up by the town’s community council which has yet to comment on the plans – it is holding a public meeting on October 23.

The Rhu and Shandon objection, lodged with Argyll and Bute Council, cites visual impact as the main objection, saying the turbines exceed the recommended height for that location and the open ridge location would be visible from busy roads and near to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

“Much of the attraction of Rhu and Helensburgh comes for their setting on the banks of the Clyde with open ridges and moorland above, “ state the objection.

“Clearly large turbines and access roads would intrude and destroy the overall setting of the town and villages.”

The £7.5m plans have been put forward jointly by Luss Estates, Green Cat Renewables and Helensburgh Renewables – set up by the community development trust.

They say that the project would generate at least £40,000 per year for local causes, including the Rhu and Shandon area, although the trust’s articles stipulate that it can only support causes in the Helensburgh area.

The developers conducted their own poll of households in Helensburgh, Rhu and Shandon in August, but the results are still not available.

To comment on the plans, go to the council’s website and use the reference number 14/01674/PP. So far 71 members of the public have lodged objections and three people have indicated support.

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