Majority who responded to developers’ own poll are against wind farm

Fewer than 5% of people responded to a postal survey on £7.5m plans for a wind farm above Helensburgh and Rhu.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 19.37.43
The survey results broken down by postcode

More than 60% of those who replied were against the plan – but developers say they will still press on, despite further opposition from residents and a national park, as it would be ‘a travesty’ to allow opponents to defeat the plan for five 86.5-metre turbines.

Back in August, Helensburgh Community Development Trust invited all 7,767 homes throughout the area to participate in a survey asking the question: How many members of your household are in favour or not in favour of Helensburgh Community Wind Farm?

Survey forms were delivered by Royal Mail to homes throughout the Helensburgh area, with residents invited to return completed forms to local shops, where they would be collated and counted independently by Argyll Voluntary Action.

Of the individuals who responded, 284 (38%) said they were in favour, and 469 (62%) were against, but Ian Fraser of Helensburgh Renewables said the project was a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for public funding which would not be available otherwise. He added:

With 95% of people choosing not to respond to the survey, it is clear that the vast majority of townspeople are either neutral or have yet to make up their minds regarding the community wind farm.

From the beginning, our plans have generated a rigorous debate, and we appreciate some people have very strong feelings regarding wind power.

Now, with small groups co-ordinating opposition, it is not surprising that, of those with a strong enough opinion to respond to the survey, the Not in Favours outnumber the In Favours.

However, we are greatly encouraged that the survey indicated only 3% of the population are Not in Favour of Helensburgh Community Wind Farm.

It would surely be a travesty to allow such a small, but vocal, proportion of our population to halt Helensburgh’s future ability to self-generate funds for local projects and initiatives.

A survey conducted in Rhu and Shandon only by the villages’ community council generated 175 responses, with 89% against this project.

Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust organised a survey in 2012 of its area’s 1,268 residents to gauge opinion on the Cove Community Wind Farm, which was later abandoned; 617 people – almost half – responded with 82% in favour.

On Thursday October 23, Helensburgh Community Council will host a debate on the wind farm proposals in the Victoria Halls at 7.30pm.

3 Comments

  1. At last … After a bit of push and shove we have the figures from Helensburgh Renewables from the postal survey they conducted in Helensburgh, Rhu and Shandon and they don’t look good.
    With less than 5% actually bothering to respond to the mid-August survey what does that say?
    And with just over 300 locals bothering to turn up to their well published two day open event in August what does that say?

    From the community forum ‘Save Our Rhu Bay’ what we can say is our Rhu & Shandon residents feel that their was a lack of credibility in any presentations given by Helensburgh Renewables who are actually 3 or 4 individuals with no available business plans and many important questions were left unanswered.
    Many factors concerned our locals such as a mention of a community common good fund which would be insignificant (if any) and certainly not guaranteed, and the significant visual impact of the prominent positioning and the extreme height of these turbines around Loch Lomond, the Clyde Estuary and around our own nearby hillsides would be unacceptable along with the efficiency of 5 wind turbines and the contributions towards government targets would be negligible, with little benefits towards our local employment, and discouragement to tourists in a very important tourist area along with a real concern for a drop in house prices and the potential to discourage new residents moving to our area, not to mention the consideration for our wild life.
    Any acceptance of this application would set a precedent for further applications for more wind farms & wind turbines which would spoil our beautiful hillsides.
    All in all Rhu & Shandon community have came together to oppose the wind farm for the above reasons with so many objections.

    With Air Traffic Control (NATS) making formal objections which is likely to scupper the application unless they can negotiate a mutual accommodation.
    And now Loch Lomond And The Trossachs National Park making a formal objection.
    And their plan is contrary to The Wind Energy Development Policy.
    And the application fails to comply with Argyll & Bute Council local plan and contravenes Scottish Natural Heritage landscape wind energy capacity guidelines.

    So where does that leave the wind farm proposal now?
    Should they abandon their application?

    • As I understand it, they’re choosing to ignore their own survey – having sat on the results for two months – because they made such a rubbish job of it. They certainly did that – the response rate is pathetic compared to the other two quoted in the story – but how cab they tell hundreds of people that their views don’t matter any more? Breathtaking arrogance. Have they actually managed to find any group or high profile individual to support them at all?

  2. It looks to me that this application would better pulled out now ,with so many against it plus the N P . The recommendation from ABC Planning Department which I would think can only be to refuse it would be very very difficult to justify going for approval .

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Visual impact the key for wind farm, say developers after debate | The Lochside Press
  2. Wind farm backed by community council – although only three members voted in favour | The Lochside Press
  3. Will airport objection be terminal for wind farm? | The Lochside Press
  4. Plan for wind farm above Helensburgh withdrawn | The Lochside Press

Leave a Reply