Wind farm backed by community council – although only three members voted in favour

Community councillors in Helensburgh have decided to support plans for a wind farm above the town – despite the majority of people at a public meeting they organised having voted against the scheme.

The possible view of the turbines from Cairndhu Point
The possible view of the turbines from Cairndhu Point

A comment in support of the plan for five 86.5-metre turbines has now been lodged by Nigel Millar, secretary of the community council, on Argyll and Bute Council’s website.

The community council has 12 members but it appears that many of them did not attend the meeting last Thursday, when the wind farm was discussed.

The margin in favour of the wind farm was just 3-2, with one member abstaining and three declaring an interest and not voting.

Very unusually, the community council response does not cite any reasons at all for its support of the proposal – there is no mention at all of issues such as planning policy or community gain.

The plan is jointly proposed by landowners Luss Estates, wind farm specialists Green Cat Renewables and Helensburgh Renewables, which was set up by the community council.

A recent public meeting in the town, organised by the community council, saw a clear majority vote against the project, but the developers pressed on regardless, saying this result was typical of such meetings.

Postal ballots organised by the developers themselves and Rhu and Shandon Community Council both showed clear majorities against the proposal, which is expected to generate up to £40,000 per year for local causes.

Ian Fraser of Helensburgh Renewables has lodged a comment stating that the money would create a fund to ‘help fellow citizens down on their luck’.

This would help young people aged 13-18 as well as small business start-ups and affordable housing.

He added that the total economic benefit could be £4m over a 20 year period and asked how objectors such as Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park could provide any alternative funding.

‘Very few’ people in Helensburgh would see the turbines at all times, he said, while ‘Rhu has a partial sighting and Shandon none at all’.

The site at Tom Na H Airidh hill is actually within Rhu and Shandon Community Council’s area.

Presumably in an erroneous reference to the Cove Community Wind `Farm, which would primarily have benefited the Cove and Kilcreggan area, he added: “Rosneath and Clynder I believe were supportive of their own wind project before it collapsed. Obviously people on the north side of the peninsula will have full sightings.”

 

4 Comments

  1. Good to see another lot of people this time the community council that can’t or don’t understand A & B Planning Policies and that there is a restriction on the size of WF within the area 50m. Another waste of people’s time and effort. When will these people understand and take note of the hard work the council have put in to these plans and policies, and not keep trying to run ruff shot over them? Or are they just seeing £40000 and nothing else. So what will this money buy in terms of what the community would like? Not even half a play park if compared to what the new park in Kilcreggan is costing. So for the sake of destroying the landscape right on the boundary of the National Park, they could have half a play park. I hope someone can explain why this has been sent to planning when it obviously over rules so many planning policies and that they intend to build it within the protection boundary of the NP. It will be interesting to see any answers from the developers. I wait in anticipation.

  2. I am so confused as to why people find wind farms ugly. However if you do find them ugly surly the spoilt view is worth both the potential revenue from renewable energy and the lack of damage to the planet. I find it crazy that people are so blaze about damaging a planet that all our future generations must live on.

    Is it really as ugly a business as the underground unseen joys of fracking ? A few very wealthy people and a fractured planet, or white windmills, to me there is no contest!

  3. Why would anyone want to invest money in technology that is proved to be less than 30% efficient? If the WF are not ugly then why has A&B Council made a restriction on max 50m? and what about the money wasted eg £240,000 Kilcreggan WF trying to get these through planning. Would this money not be better being invested somewhere else? I agree renewable energy should be invested in however when planning rules have been set they should be ad-heard to and not tried to be over ruled by injecting vast amounts of money to get around them. 50M is 50M not 51M not 89M so can you tell me why these people still try and gain permission. MONEY thats why and not for the good of the community or the planet it’s for the good of the developer I really don’t think £40,000 a year is worth destroying the view of the NP or do you?

  4. Well at least 3 people are in favour! This plan must be doomed after the national park response in any case – drop it now

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