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An SNP MSP has expressed concern about the visual impact of wind farm developments in his constituency. Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford said it was vital new developments did not "diminish an area's scenic character". His comments come despite the Scottish Government's much publicised support for wind-generated energy. Stirling Council has given the go-ahead for three wind farm projects across the local area. A forth is currently being considered. At present the district hosts a prominent 36-turbine wind farm at Braes of Doune and an almost completed 15-turbine development at Earlsburn.
This Appeal Decision prepared by Robin Brooks BA (Hons) MRTPI an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government provides detailed arguments on why the appeal was denied. Several categories of interest are covered including these main issues:
Plans for two separate wind farms visible from Exmoor have come up against another hurdle. Campaign group Open Spaces Society has launched objections to the projects, stating they would have a negative impact on the feel of the moor. The two projects are the Three Moors scheme at Knowstone, North Devon, where the company Airtricity Developments hopes to erect nine turbines, and Bickham Moor, near Oakford, Mid Devon, where Coronation Power want to erect four. Kate Ashbrook, Open Spaces Society's general secretary said: "We are dismayed that the wind-energy companies keep applying to erect turbines in this part of North Devon. There are already two outstanding applications nearby, at Batsworthy Cross and Cross Moor."
Firstly , we are in favour of alternative sources of energy such as wind turbines. It is just that we do not want them desecrating a beautiful and tranquil part of our rural heritage when they could easily be placed elsewhere, especially offshore. Secondly, who "honestly" told Mr Waterson that it would "provide all the power needed for the opera season"?. ...The energy produced by the turbine will be sold to the National Grid and so will not actually be used by the opera house because they will have to buy energy back when they need it. Thus it could be located anywhere and not in a place which will damage the beauty of Sussex.
Residents fighting plans which could see a wind farm appear on picturesque Bickerton Hills have stepped up their bid to stop it. Families living close to the site met last week to discuss how to stop Banks Developments Ltd’s plans for a 60m wind- monitoring mast on land off Long Lane. ...It’s the first application of its type in the locality. Objectors saying it will be a blot on the landscape. Resident Kate Reeves said: “There was a very good turnout to the meeting and it just showed how very strongly locals feel about this. They are all very, very angry.”
Residents fighting plans which could see a wind farm appear on picturesque Bickerton Hills have stepped up their bid to stop it. Families living in close proximity to the proposed site held a meeting on Thursday as they face Banks Developments Ltd’s plans for a 60-metre high wind-monitoring mast on land off Long Lane. The proposal is for a temporary period of three years for wind speed data to be collected to see if the site is suitable for a wind farm and is the first application of its type in the district. Objectors saying it will be a blot on South Cheshire’s rural landscape. Resident Kate Reeves said: “There was a very good turnout to the meeting and it just showed how very strongly locals feel about this. There were no detractors at all. They are all very, very angry.”
Supermarket giant ASDA has admitted a massive wind turbine it wants to build at its Northampton distribution depot might be visible as far away as Wellingborough. The Chronicle & Echo first revealed ASDA's plans to build a 417ft wind turbine at its Brackmills depot in May. The company wants the turbine, which would be exactly the same size as the Express Lifts Tower, to help power its distribution centre. But latest plans submitted by the company to the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) revealed the massive structure could in theory be seen all across Northampton, and as far away as Wellingborough and Long Buckby.
I was one of the community councillors who asked to go on the wind farm trip in September. I went to see if it proved my thoughts that Shetland could not absorb the visual impact of the Viking Energy project. The simple answer is that it can't - the land mass in Shetland is too small. ...We were advised at this site that the carbon footprint during the construction had been 'massive'. ...
The vandalism of our beauty spots continues. I refer to Stirling Council's decision to shun its planning department's advice and support a wind farm at Craigengelt. Its 410ft turbines should make a splendid backdrop to the massive pylons planned from Stirling to Denny. Formerly known as the entrance to the Highlands, Stirling should in future be dubbed: "Gateway to the industrial belt."
Controversial plans to create an eight turbine wind farm in the Carron Valley in rural Stirling have been given the go-ahead by the council. ...Despite the promise of payment, the wind farm plan caused divisions among Carron Valley's residents. Planning officials had originally recommended the application be refused. Scottish Natural Heritage also objected to the visual impact of the wind farm. Scotia Wind said if the plans to construct eight turbines 125m in height, a new access road, bridge, electricity sub-station and meteorological monitoring mast went ahead, they would pay an index-linked cash windfall of £48,000 a year to the local community.
"Councillors, I believe you have the power to take hundreds of pounds from E.ON or preserve a historic view and environment that generations have and will enjoy. "We must not be overwhelmed by commercial interests today. Our ancestors thought of tomorrow. Let's do the same." ...PEPA representative Dr Tony Trewavas informed the committee that 2402 written objections had been submitted regarding the proposed wind farm. Around 1300 were from Penicuik residents with others from the Scottish Borders and others who had moved away from the area. Objections had also been lodged by Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Borders Council, Historic Scotland, West Linton and Howgate Community Councils, the Esk Valley Trust, Friends of the Pentland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
North Devon District Council wants a judicial review of plans for 22 turbines at Fullabrook Down. If the case goes ahead, the High Court could overturn the plans by Devon Wind Power. The plans were agreed by Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks, but the council says the impact on the area and local people outweigh any benefits. ...Council leader Mike Harrison said the authority had taken legal advice and it had a chance of winning its case. He said: "These are massive turbines and it will have a huge impact on the landscape. "It will affect people living nearby and the tourism industry."
Applause filled the council chamber last week as councillors emphatically rejected plans for a controversial Afan Valley wind farm. Councillors on the planning and development control committee voted to refuse permission for four wind turbines to be built on Mynydd Corrwg Fechan, near Glyncorrwg. Members of the Glyncorrwg Action Group, who had campaigned against the wind farm, packed the public gallery and broke into spontaneous applause as the unanimous decision was announced. ...Head of planning Geoff White said in his report: "This development would create unacceptable impacts upon the character and appearance of the countryside which are not outweighed by the benefits of providing renewable energy."
The seven 406ft turbines planned at Petsoe End, Emberton, were given the go-ahead by the city planning committee. But it was anything but a breeze for supporters of the Your Energy project - with councillors split six-five on the crucial vote. ...Cllr Isabella Fraser said: "The council is caught between a rock and a hard place. We are in a no-win situation." She complained of "email harassment" by supporters of the scheme and attacked those in the public gallery for "extremely immature" behaviour in waving placards.
Wind farms can cause environmental damage, MSPs are being told at a committee. A retired university professor says the mechanical vibrations transmitted through land-based turbines to the surrounding terrain cause the problem. Prof Dixie Dean, a former business professor who has also worked in the field of mycology, says the impact will "devastate" the sand, soil and peat in the immediate area. He claims that the problem has been "completely overlooked" in a submission to Holyrood's Petition's Committee. His petition states: "These vibrations will in time destroy the very fabric of peat, sand and soil for miles around.
NATIONAL security could be compromised by more wind turbines in the Swaffham area, but councillors have been recommended to grant permission. The Ministry of Defence warns the six new giant turbines would have "an unacceptable impact upon the air traffic control radar at RAF Marham and Lakenheath and also against the air defence radar at Trimingham". But Breckland councillors could give the go-ahead on Monday for the turbines to be built on an open farmland site between the A1065 Castleacre Road and Sporle Road in Swaffham and Sporle.
THE first batch of ballot papers were yesterday dispatched to residents who live closest to the proposed site of a contentious 21-turbine wind farm west of Thurso. Caithness West Community Council is surveying the 1000-or-so electors in its patch to find out whether they support or oppose the 57.5 megawatt development. The timing is particularly sensitive as Baillie Wind Farm Ltd's scheme for farmland near Shebster is being tabled at a Highland Council hearing next month. The community council is among the objectors to the proposal, which would add to the existing nearby six-turbine cluster at Forss. But it is pledging to reflect the feedback of the vote in its representation.
A contentious plan to build four towering wind turbines by a Norfolk coastal village has gone back to the drawing board to address strong fears over the impact of the structures on the countryside. SLP Energy has withdrawn its application to build the 125m high turbines at Hemsby, near Yarmouth, because it says it needs more time to revise its scheme to overcome a swathe of objections from residents, councils, the Ministry of Defence(MOD) and countryside groups. Concerns were raised that the turbines would loom over the village's skyline and blight its appearance and be detrimental to a nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest. Objections were also submitted by the MOD, which said the turbines would interfere with radar at RAF Trimingham and residents said they were worried the proposed site would hamper television signals.
If the 2010 target of reducing CO2 emissions was achievable, which the UK government now admits is impossible, it would have been responsible for saving a ridiculously paltry 0.0003 or four 10 thousandths of all world emissions. And the reason for this failure is plain to see - the wrong technology, that of wind power, has been used. It just cannot deliver any significant saving on emissions, not without plastering the whole country with massive turbines - a 400ft turbine is 20 times the height of a 20ft lamp-post. ...The saving of emissions, we are told, is the main reason for having these turbines in the first place. We look forward to any responses from those Welsh politicians who seem obsessed with the pursuit of this near-useless technology.
Wind farm in Stirling, Scotland.