Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Europe

Pylon threat to mountain wilderness

The pylons would form part of the upgrading of the power link between north and south Scotland. Extra electricity from new wind farms being built in the Highlands must be transmitted to power users in cities in the south. Scottish and Southern Energy says the £320m upgrade - on the line between Beauly, near Inverness, and Denny, near Stirling - would consist of 600 pylons, 40 to 64 metres high, with a section going through Cairngorms National Park. The idea has horrified landowners, wildlife groups and walkers: 18,000 people have formally objected to the Beauly-Denny plan. ...should Britain's commitment to renewable energy take precedence over its need to preserve its wild places?
9 Dec 2007

Huge expansion for wind turbines

Business Secretary John Hutton says he wants to open up British seas to allow enough new turbines - up to 7,000 - to power all UK homes by the year 2020. He acknowledged "it is going to change our coastline", but said the issue of climate change was "not going away". The thrust of the idea was backed by Tory Alan Duncan: "We're an island nation. There's a lot of wind around." ...The other choice was, he said, whether it was "easier to have these developments offshore rather than onshore". Asked what would happen if there was no wind for a few days, Mr Hutton said that was why there had to be a mix of energy sources - including nuclear power - to cover for calmer weather periods.
9 Dec 2007

Turbines turned down by planners

Wind farm plans which generated huge controversy in the Afan Valley have suffered a massive blow.Neath Port Talbot planning officers have advised councillors to throw out Eco2's proposal to put four giant turbines on Mynydd Corrwg Fechan overlooking Glyncorrwg. At 125 metres, they would have been some of the biggest in Wales, around 34 metres taller than those already in place at Ffynnon Oer in the same valley. The authority's planning committee is due to make a final decision on the 12MW scheme on Tuesday, but, sensing victory, delighted campaigners have welcomed the officers' stance. "This is a great Christmas present
8 Dec 2007

When the wind blows: They're Green, but Wind Farms Make Poor Neighbours

'A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors study suggests local house prices drop by around 20 per cent when a wind farm application is submitted. If a house in the vicinity was once worth Pounds 350,000, it will now be worth Pounds 50,000 to Pounds 70,000 less,' he says. Mr Barlow is one of the leaders of the Stop Wadlow Wind Farm campaign, a group of 300 local residents opposing plans for what he describes as '13 vast, noisy turbines, each one taller than Big Ben, and visible over an area of more than 300 square miles'. ...While some estate agents claim turbines have a negative impact on prices, many others see them as an inevitable feature of the future landscape. And farmers, on whose land the turbines are often built, can certainly profit from wind.
30 Nov 2007

Bird risks are too great

Shetland holds almost half of Britain's breeding red-throated divers. A survey of breeding red-throated divers in Shetland, carried out in 1994, found only 389 breeding pairs, a 40 per cent decline since the previous full survey in 1983. Shetland holds approximately1.5 per cent of the British breeding population of merlins, approximately 20 pairs. Consultation is on going to reduce the impact of the development especially on the breeding red-throated divers, which are considered to be particularly liable to collision with wind turbines. ...In the words of the RSPB: "The RSPB views climate change as the most serious threat to birds and their habitats, and sees renewable energy as one way to alleviate this threat. However, it would be entirely self defeating to advocate building wind farms right in the middle of our most important wildlife areas." ...Anybody that thinks developments like this are acceptable obviously don't care less about the wildlife and natural environment around them.
30 Nov 2007

Councillors vote down wind farm permission

Councillors in Conwy have voted to refuse planning permission for the development of a windfarm near Cerrigydrudion. Mwdwl Eithin, situated in the heart of the countryside, was the proposed site of a 12 turbine wind farm by developer Nuon, but at the last planning meeting county councillors decided not to grant the application. Their decision went against the recommendation of local authority planning officers, but represented the views of the majority of local residents. ..."Wind farms should only be developed when they are supported by local communities. "Everyone would agree for the need for more sustainable and renewable energy and wind power certainly has a role to play, but there must be sensitivity to the effects of wind farms on local communities and their impact on the countryside, particularly in relation to tourism."
29 Nov 2007

Anger at £23m wind farm plan

Residents are raging over plans for a huge wind farm. Around 10 turbines nearly as big as Blackpool Tower have been planned for a site near Marton. ...residents oppose the plans. They claim, ..."The desire to build wind farms is not based on local needs but is driven by the profit motives of the companies and by the greed and selfishness of the landowners involved.
26 Nov 2007

Debating the merits of energy from air

THE tiny Greek island of Serifos, a popular tourist destination, depends on its postcard views of sandy beaches, Cycladic homes and sunsets that blend sea and sky into a clean wash of color. So when a mining and energy company floated a plan earlier this year to build 87 industrial wind turbines on more than a third of the island, the Serifos mayor, Angeliki Synodinou, called it her "worst nightmare."..."These are not just one or two turbines spinning majestically in the blue sky and billowing clouds," said Lisa Linowes, executive director of Industrial Wind Action Group, an international advocacy group based in New Hampshire that opposes wind farms.
24 Nov 2007

Wind farm inquiry - Northumberland

One of Northumberland's longest-serving councillors has given his evidence to the Middlemoor inquiry, after years of being 'gagged' by local government rules. Political heavyweight John Taylor, who is county member for Longhoughton division and district representative for Hedgeley Ward of Alnwick District Council, was finally able to break his silence on Friday afternoon on the plans for 18 turbines near South Charlton. He said: ..."This is the first time that I have been able to comment from a personal point of view on the matter. "As I have said previously, I have lived and worked in Northumberland for most of my life and I feel very strongly that these proposals will have the most detrimental effect on the landscape.
23 Nov 2007

Developers to appeal on Conwy Valley windfarm

DEVELOPERS may press on with plans for a controversial 12-turbine windfarm in North Wales even though a council rejected it this week, it emerged yesterday. Conwy councillors threw out the proposed Mwdwl Eithin scheme in Cerrigydrudion against the advice of officers, who recommended it for approval. ...Clwyd West AM Darren Millar welcomed Conwy councillors' refusal of the scheme which is in his constituency. Mr Millar, the Assembly shadow minister for the environment and planning, said: "This is great news for the countryside. The decision not to grant the application went against the recommendation of local authority planning officers, but represented the views of the majority of local residents.
17 Nov 2007

First turbine looms over future farm

After years of debate over the controversial wind farm and approval granted two years ago, construction has begun. It dominates the Louth Marsh landscape and the view from the Wolds. All 20 turbines are expected to be in place and operating early in the New Year. ...There were 137 letters of protest to the proposal and ELDC's Planning Committee initially refused the application. The controversial site was deemed hazardous to aircraft radar and military jets using RAF Donna Nook bombing range. Councillors also agreed that the visual impact on the Louth Marsh detracted from the spire of St James' Church, Louth.
17 Nov 2007

Iconic and mystical views would be affected - claim

MAGICAL, mystical and iconic views could be affected if a proposed wind farm in Northumberland is allowed to go ahead, a public inquiry heard yesterday. On day four of the public inquiry into an application to build 18 wind turbines at South Charlton near Alnwick, anti-wind-farm campaigners again clashed with experts speaking on behalf of nPower. ...Mr Stevenson said: "These turbines will introduce an element of dynamism into the environment. There is some evidence from other turbine sites that they become popular and may even become tourist attractions themselves."
17 Nov 2007

Coldingham wind farm plan blown away; Permission for Drone Hill turbines refused

After generating huge interest across Berwickshire and beyond, a controversial planning application has been rejected by Scottish Borders Council after it was decided that it contravened key council policies. Meeting on Monday, the Council's Development and Building Control Committee, decided to follow the recommendation of planning officials and unanimously put a halt to the plans to have a windfarm on Coldingham Moor. Since it was originally lodged last year, the application has sparked a vast difference in opinion, gathering responses on a local, national and even international level.
15 Nov 2007

Conservation watchdog ‘diluting its aims’; SNH accused of allowing damaging development

The government's conservation watchdog has been accused of putting wildlife and wild places at risk by preparing to relax its defences against development. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is under fire from environmental groups and insiders for allowing plans for a coal mine and wind farms to go ahead, despite the damage they could do to rare birds and peat bogs. Critics warn that a review of corporate strategy being led by SNH chairman Andrew Thin could result in more damaging developments being given the go-ahead. Fears have been fuelled by a recent interview in which Thin said he was neither a conservationist nor an environmentalist.
10 Nov 2007

Peat slows down Viking's plans

THE COMPANY behind plans to build a massive windfarm in Shetland intends to wait until next summer before submitting a planning application to allow a second study of the islands' peatlands. Viking Energy had initially hoped to have already submitted its planning documents, but the huge number of responses to a public consultation scuppered the company's timetable. ...During the initial consultation in spring this year, many local residents were concerned about the amount of peat which would have to be cleared to erect up to 192 turbines, each measuring up to 145 metres in height. There were also worries that disturbing the sensitive peat habitat could pollute burns and inshore waters.
7 Nov 2007

Residents hit out over wind farm 'greed'

DOWNSIZED proposals for a wind farm in a Moray forest are still visually and environmentally unacceptable, claim local residents. ...Locals say the development would scar a scenic landscape for nothing more than commercial greed. ...In 'The Northern Scot' last week, David Hodkinson, managing director of the firm's wind energy business, believed the development, on land owned by the Forestry Commission, now fitted with people's expectations in the area. ...However, the application met with strong opposition this week from residents whose homes border the site, which is around 800 metres above sea level to the south of Buckie. ...Dr Henderson said it was inconceivable to erect wind turbines, recently voted the No 1 eyesore in a BBC and MORI poll, at a time when Moray is developing a tourism strategy. "Once this process has been started it is iredeemable and you can't stop the juggernaut," she said.
2 Nov 2007

Pollution at Lough Lee: Wind farm under investigation as wild trout stocks disappear

SILT run-off during the construction of a wind farm is believed to be the source responsible for the wiping out of valuable vegetation and a colossal decrease in wild Brown Trout fish stocks in one of Tyrone's hidden beauty spots. ...One source described the fish caught as "feeble and malnourished" and indicated that the "damage to the rare genetic strain was irreparable." Lough Lee has long been considered by angling tourists as one of the most unique freshwater fishing sites in Ireland or Britain. ...problems arose during the construction of the 9MW wind farm by leading company Airtricity, who was given planning permission to position turbines on the slope of Bin Mountain facing and in close proximity to the Lough.
1 Nov 2007

£500,000 a year - a pot of gold, or just a sweetener?

A NORTH Sutherland community stands to gain up to half a million pounds a year in community benefit from wind farms, it emerged this week. But the "pot of gold" has failed to impress some Strathy residents who this week angrily dismissed it as a sweetener, aimed at making them accept major changes to their local landscape. ...The power company wants to build a £90 million, 35-turbine development on the north side of Strathy and a follow-up 77-turbine development on the south side of the forest.
1 Nov 2007

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