Airport objection could spell the end for wind farm project

How the turbines could look from the reservoir above Helensburgh.
How the turbines could look from the reservoir above Helensburgh.

Glasgow airport officials have refused to lift their objection to a wind farm above Helensburgh and Rhu, meaning the plans look almost certain to be rejected unless they are amended.

Planning officials at Argyll and Bute Council warned that the airport’s objection meant the plans for five 86.5-metre turbines had ‘little chance of success’.

But Helensburgh Renewables, which is trying to develop the site at Tom Na H Airidh hill with Luss Estates and Green Cat Renewables, were undeterred and held a meeting with the airport last week to discuss its objection.

Afterwards a spokesperson for the airport said: “Glasgow Airport is a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure which support’s thousands of jobs across the West of Scotland.

“As the airport operators, we are legally obliged to protect the safe and efficient operation of airspace in the area.

“Some wind turbine developments could impact upon the operation of the airspace as they interfere with radar systems.

“We can often resolve these issues, but this is not always possible as is the case with the proposed wind farm.”

Airport experts said the turbines would generate ‘clutter’ on radar screens, forcing planes to make a diversion.

After the officials comments were received – along with objections from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park – council planners wrote to the developers inviting them to withdraw the project.

A spokesperson for Helensburgh Renewables said this week: “Following our meeting with Glasgow Airport, the Helensburgh Renewables team is considering the output from the discussion to determine what, if any, amendments may be made to the application.”


  1. This application was doomed from the start tooooo big I A W council planning policy. Will be interesting to raise a freedom of information application to see how much money this redicoulous application has cost? Don’t for its not just the applicants money it’s A&B council money (yours and mine).

    • The first objection was from the National Air Traffic Control (NATS) whcih control airspace after the plane has taken off. This occurred last August. It remains a mystery to me why the proposal was not rethought at that stage

  2. The reason being Geoff, these applicants think that they can just throw more and more money at applications and ride ruff shot over the planners. The limit is in this area for any WF is 50m max. The same thing occurred in Kilcreggan and it ended with the application being withdrawn and wasting in the region of £200,000. Now projects in this village have to go cap in hand to try and get money for other projects, when they could have invested the money wasted on the WF and given it to causes that needed it at the time. It’s a complete farce anything going to planning over 50m is just a complete waste of time. I think the planners should not even accept anything out with their guidelines and this would free up both time and money for projects that actually benefit the community instead of ones that will line a few pockets for the next 25years.

  3. Contacted the applicant and their response was we are discussing our options? How long does it take to make a formal statement? After 3 weeks I really think the people of Helensburgh should be told YES or No is this how the WF will be run if the go ahead is given?

  4. Just looking at the WF Application and I see another reply from Glasgow Airport with reference to the meeting on 3rd March 2015. I see that the airport is still objecting after the applicants meetings. So why is it taking this long to pull the plug once and for all. A reply I received from the applicant said they were looking at their options this was over a month ago, so this application is just another time, and tax payers money waster yet again just like all these WF applications. Come on A&B don’t even let them submit them and this would save everyone’s time and money.

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