Articles filed under General from Europe

Sheltered in every way but one- Massive wind project divides a British isle

And now we are facing this terrible thing that threatens the very essence of what Lewis is. It's a small island. It's unique. And this will tear it asunder," he said. The "terrible thing" to which he refers is a plan to construct what some promote as an environmental and economic blessing--a vast wind farm. Two British energy conglomerates have applied for permission to build 234 giant wind turbines that would generate 702 megawatts of power, one of the largest such projects in Europe. The turbines would be 460 feet high; their rotors would have a diameter of 330 feet. A Boeing 747 jumbo jet could fly through the circumference with room to spare. "There'd be no escaping them," said Catriona Campbell, whose kitchen window view would be compromised by dozens of the turbines about a mile away. She calls them a "physical and cultural desecration." "This is the land of our ancestors. If we lose it, we've lost the thing that makes us who we are," she said.
6 Oct 2006

Ramblers back fight against windfarms

The director of the Scottish Ramblers’ Association has criticised proposals for two windfarms in north east Fife. A planning application has been submitted for a five-turbine windfarm in Auchtermuchty, while a larger 13-turbine project is planned for Ceres — both by German-based firm EnergieKontor. Local opposition has been widespread for both, citing the same grievances as the Ramblers — that they are proposed in the wrong place and would diminish the area’s landscape.
6 Oct 2006

Wind farm approval could be withdrawn

Highland Councillors are to be asked to overturn a decision they made last week to give the go-ahead to a wind farm development in Sutherland. Members of the council’s core planning, development, Europe and tourism committee approved two out of three planning applications for wind farms in the Rosehall area of Sutherland after special hearings in Lairg last Friday. The approval was given despite the three Sutherland councillors on the committee voting against all three developments and community councils in the area making it clear they were not in favour.
6 Oct 2006

Villagers set for new battle over wind turbine

Developers of a controversial Nidderdale wind farm want to re-site two of its eight 300ft high turbines so they do not interfere with a British Telecom link crossing the site. Npower Renewables Ltd is applying to Harrogate Borough Council to relocate two turbines at Knabs Ridge, Nidderdale, between Skipton Road and Penny Pot Lane at Felliscliffe, near Harrogate. Ironically, it was Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee which rejected the project in September 2005 – only for an independent government inspector to overrule their decision and give the go ahead. British Telecom has confirmed it is happy with the siting of the new turbines, confirming they will not cause any problem to their link. But in a David v Goliath move Felliscliffe Parish Council, which objected to the original application to establish the site, are objecting again.
6 Oct 2006

Norway to subsidize renewable power production from 2008

The Norwegian government is to subsidize energy produced from renewable sources from 2008, the energy ministry said Thursday. Under the new system, producers of wind power will receive NOK80/MWh ($12.08/MWh), while producers of power from biomass will receive NOK100/MWh. In addition, hydro power producers will receive NOK40/MWh for the production representing the first 3 MW of the capacity in the plants.
5 Oct 2006

Training proposal in windfarm plan

Revenue from one of 23 turbines in a controversial windfarm proposed for land owned by Harrods boss, Mohamed al Fayed, in Sutherland will go to train local people. It would mean up to £5m over 25 years to help Highlanders learn the technology of green energy. The initiative comes from the developer Airtricity. Last Friday, it received approval from Highland Council’s Planning Committee for its 46MW windfarm at Beinn Rosail in Strath Oykel near Invercassley, against the advice of planning officials. It is opposed by all six Sutherland councillors, three of whom were eligible to vote.
5 Oct 2006

Doubts remain over wind turbines

A PLAN for four 125m wind turbine generators in Aston could be given the green light next week. Objectors say they are 'disappointed and concerned' Vale Royal Borough Council has recommended the application be approved. Tegni Cymru Cyf submitted the application last year and planning chief Richard Ellison indicated that, due to the nature of the Green Belt site and the scale of the proposed development, it would only be passed if the developer proved 'very special circumstances' to justify the scheme. Mr Ellison said: 'Even if the planning committee accepts my recommendation, they cannot actually issue that approval because the site is in the Green Belt and the proposed development would be a significant departure from the borough council's local plan. It would have to go to the Secretary of State for consideration.'
5 Oct 2006

Power line row draws to a close

Farmers in Kerry and Cork have learned that the contentious Bantry power line standoff had been brought to a successful conclusion. The farmers concerned voted unanimously to accept a package put to them by ICSA president Malcolm Thompson, who was approached by developer Bob Murnane of Ballybane Wind Farms to mediate in the dispute, which had halted the progress of the electricity supply to the national grid. The package includes the under-grounding of cable, the avoidance of key environmentally sensitive areas and lands with development potential and an adequate compensatory package for the affected landowners.
5 Oct 2006

New guidance on plans for future windfarm sites

Lake District National Park planners are reviewing their policy on windfarm site developments in view of growing public awareness and changes in legislation. People in the Lake District are to be asked what they think about new planning guidance, aimed at identifying locations that could be suitable for future windfarm developments. The Lake District National Park Authority yesterday agreed to support other planning authorities in consulting with the public over the Cumbria Wind Energy Supplementary Planning Document. While the document will not specifically identify chosen sites for windfarm schemes, it will detail what could be acceptable in terms of capacity and scale.
4 Oct 2006

Plan for eco-house welcomed

FOR most people, building a new home can be a bit of a challenge. With construction work to oversee, bathroom suites to choose and gardens to landscape, the work can seem never ending. But one Suffolk woman has much more than paint schemes at the top of her list of priorities. Virginia Neild, from Cowlinge, near Newmarket, is planning to create a house that is a friend to the environment, as well as her bank balance. Not only will it be so heavily insulated that there will be no need for central heating, Mrs Neild hopes to win permission from council planners to erect a 12-metre wind turbine to power most, or all, of her electricity.
4 Oct 2006

Residents prepare for battle over plans for more pylons

The briefings, organised by officials of the Scottish Executive’s Inquiry Reporters Unit, will give some shape to the consultation process to follow before ministers decide whether to sanction Scottish and Southern Energy’s proposals for upgrading the transmission line with 600 pylons along the 137-mile route between Beauly in the Highlands and Denny, near Stirling. The upgrade was commissioned to facilitate an expected flood of new energy production from the green technologies.
4 Oct 2006

Sutherland councillors in windfarm ruling fight

Sutherland councillors are challenging a Highland Council planning committee decision to approve plans for a windfarm on land belonging to Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed. The application by Airtricity Developments (UK) Ltd for permission to erect 23 turbines at Beinn Rosail, Invercassley, Strath Oykel, By Lairg, in central Sutherland, was granted planning permission against the recommendation of council officers. The decision was also made in face of opposition from the three local community councils.
4 Oct 2006

Farmers appeal against wind turbine rejection

Plans to build two 70-metre wind turbines in a picturesque Westcountry location are under scrutiny again, two years after they were rejected by council officials.Farmers Robert and Carol Bradford have appealed after West Devon Borough Council threw out their proposal for the development on land at Beech Farm, Lamerton, a mile from the western boundary of Dartmoor. The authority raised concerns over the visual impact of the turbines on the Dartmoor National Park, and on the nearby Tamar Valley - a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). But the Bradfords claim the environmental and community benefits of the 70-metre turbines - which are one-and-a-half times the height of Exeter Cathedral - should outweigh such concerns. The couple, who are representing themselves, say the turbines will produce enough power to supply 1,000 homes on the local network. The scheme would be run as community trust, generating £5 million over its expected 25-year life span for the Lamerton area, they claim.
4 Oct 2006

Windfarm site is for the birds, says SSE

The presence of golden eagles and red kites in a Perthshire glen has convinced an energy company to pull the plug on plans for a windfarm. Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said last night it has axed plans for 20 wind turbines in Glen Tarken, near Comrie, after analysing bird data gathered there over the past few years. The surveys showed the site’s northern area was used by golden eagles and the southern area by red kites - both rare species. After consulting with local RSPB officers, SSE concluded the 30MW windfarm could pose a risk to the birds.
4 Oct 2006

Wind inquiry date

THE public inquiry into the Fullabrook Down wind farm proposal will take place at Barnstaple Guildhall from Tuesday, November 28. Thursday's pre-inquiry meeting at the Guildhall was held to enable inspector Dr Chris Gossop to determine who would be giving evidence.
4 Oct 2006

Green backing for Griffin

The Griffin Forest windfarm site is “one of the best locations” in Perthshire, Green MSP Mark Ruskell told the inquiry. The representative for Mid-Scotland and Fife, pictured right, pointed out that his party had “consistently argued” that development of onshore wind energy has an important role to play in the electricity generation mix, as part of the global solution to climate change. Perthshire also had the potential to contribute to the Scottish Executive’s renewable energy target from a limited number of well-sited windfarms within the county. He contended that from among the many wind energy schemes proposed across Perthshire, Griffin Forest stands out as one of the best locations for a windfarm because the site is largely “industrial forestry” of low biodiversity, and is within one of the council’s “preferred locations.”
3 Oct 2006

Environment watchdogs blasted

Environment watchdogs Scottish National Heritage have been accused of a “dereliction of duty” by not objecting to controversial multi-million pound plans for two “industrial-scale” turbines in Highland Perthshire. And Jill Wilson, chairperson of the Amulree and Strathbraan Windfarm Action Group (ASWAG), branded that omission “a dereliction of duty,” at an ongoing public inquiry. She also claimed that the developers – GreenPower and I&H Brown – were proposing to “desecrate and abuse” the landscape with the giant turbines.
3 Oct 2006

Meeting on major power line plan

One of four meetings to be held ahead of a public inquiry into controversial plans for a line of huge electricity pylons is taking place in Aviemore. The line from the Highlands to Central Scotland, proposed by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), would see 600 pylons built on a 137-mile route. Meetings in Aviemore, Inverness, Perth and Stirling will set out how the inquiry proper will progress. The inquiry, called by the Scottish Executive, will be held early 2007.
3 Oct 2006

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