‘Don’t leave it to others’, residents urged as wind farm protests mount

Residents have been urged to register objections to controversial plans for a community wind farm.3b

The call came this week from community group Save Our Rhu Bay, which has already gathered 177 objections to the plans for five 86-metre turbines at Tom na h-Airidh hill.

More than 150 objections have also been lodged on Argyll and Bute Council’s website, with only a handful of individuals in favour, while a poll organised by Rhu and Shandon Community Council showed 89% of people were against the £7.5mplans.

But a spokesman for Save Our Rhu Bay said most people in the area had not made objections as they did not think the project would go ahead.

“So if you don’t want a wind farm based in Rhu It is essential that everyone gets involved and registers objections.,” he added.

“Don’t leave it to others. Every vote counts.

“It is the only way to drive home a clear message to our council planners.

“Even if you are on the Rosneath Peninsula, around the Clyde Estuary, around Loch Lomond or further away please have your say, and do not leave it to others.”

The wind farm is being planned jointly by landowners Luss Estates, specialist company Green Cat and Helensburgh Renewables, an offshoot of the town’s community development trust – but the site is actually in the Rhu and Shandon Community Council area.

Locals in Rhu say it would be unfair for their area not to benefit from the project, said the spokesman.

“A recurring, strong viewpoint is that if permission were to be granted, would this encourage further wind farms around our hills?” he added.

“This may, in turn, make it difficult for council planners to refuse future applications.

“Therefore, we have to question do we really want to see wind turbines all over our beautiful, much admired hills and unspoiled countryside?”

Further information about the group and ho to comment on the plans is available in this PDF file: Rhu Wind Farm 101

Launched last year, Save Our Rhu Bay has 1,200 followers on its Facebook site and aims to provide information and news for the community.

It was at the forefront of the successful campaign against a masterplan for Rhu Marina which saw 1,434 objections lodged in just one month.

But despite these plans being refused, the marina site is still designated for high density housing in the council’s draft Local Development Plan, which is currently being scrutinised by Scottish Government Reporters.

The group is also trying to bring fast fibre broadband to Rhu and Shandon and has been in talks with the Scottish Government, Digital Scotland, British Telecom and Openreach.

“Our locals constantly report poor, slow download connection speeds, break up of service, constant buffering and disruption of service,” said the spokesman.

“Without a good service we are all disadvantaged and all suffer personally, and in the work place so fast fibre broadband will enhance our daily life immensely.”

It is hoped that pre-ground work will start next year, with the aim of high speed broadband being available in 2016.

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