Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Has Trump swapped Scottish offshore wind farm for Irish offshore wind farm?

As we already know, bullying Donald Trump has thrown his toys out of the pram and stormed out of Scotland after he could not use his billions or bully boy tactics to force the Scottish Government to refuse permission for an offshore wind farm that he considered would blight the view of golfers visiting his course on the Aberdeenshire coast.

If the latest news report is correct, then he’s been so busy throwing a strop that he (and his possibly soon to be unemployed researchers) that they seem to have missed a planning application which has bee lodged for a wind farm near his new Irish resort.

He’s going to look really silly if he has missed this, and can’t arrange for it to be refused planning permission.

The application, by Clare Coastal Wind Power Ltd, states: “For grant of a ten year planning permission for development at a site in the townlands of Carrowmore South, Einagh and Shragh, approximately 2 km south of the village of Doonbeg.

“The development will comprise nine electricity generating wind turbines with a hub height of up to 85 metres and a rotor diameter of up to 82 metres giving an overall height of up to 126m, hardstandings, a control building, an electrical compound, a permanent meteorological mast, associated site roads, drainage and site works.

“The planning application is accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement ( EIS ) and a Natura Impact Statement ( NIS ).”

A decision is due on the proposal on March 30.

The Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare will be renamed Trump International Golf Links, Ireland and will offer golfers a 400-acre site on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.

Via Donald Trump faces fresh wind farm battle near new Irish golf club | Aberdeen & North | News | STV

Maybe they will be renaming it Trump’s Folly instead, if this proves to be true.

His team will have made him look as stupid as his hair.

Trump balloon hair

That hair

You’re not building houses in Aberdeen, Trump

At the same time…

The council at the centre of a row with Donald Trump has warned the tycoon he will not be able to build houses on the land previously set aside for a golf resort.

Aberdeenshire Council leader Jim Gifford insisted the businessman could only develop property on the land if he also builds a golf course.

The comments come after Mr Trump withdrew his planning application to build another resort on his Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

Council leader Jim Gifford told the Press and Journal: “He can do what he wants with the land he owns, but he won’t be selling it to build houses on because the houses are absolutely tied into building the golf course, the clubhouse and the hotel.

“Donald Trump was never going to build those houses, someone else was going to go in there and do that. But there is no way they can build houses on the land as it’s tied in to a progressive sequence of building.”

Via Council warns Donald Trump over property development on Menie Estate | Aberdeen & North | News | STV

Trump’s staff are just as delusional as the man himself, or more likely are in constant fear of being fired if they don’t do all they can to follow his line.

Even though he has now pulled out of Scotland, and ridden off into the sunset, his mouthpieces were still trying to blackmail or shame Scotland, by trying to suggest the Scottish Government is responsible for replacing a mythical 4,000 Trump jobs with a mere 30 arising from the offshore wind turbine project.

Speaking on Friday, Sarah Malone, executive vice president, Trump International Golf Links, Scotland said: “Councillor Gifford, and everyone else taking decisions in government, are failing to understand that they will not get both projects.

“It is either one or the other – we won’t ‘muddle through’ as Gifford put it. They are mutually exclusive.

“It is either 30 jobs generated by the EOWDC or 4000 jobs created by the Trump development.

“The only way that both projects can coexist is for the wind-farm to be moved up the coast or out to sea away from our development.

“Our government leaders should be ashamed of gambling 4000 jobs. Mr Trump stated his position from the outset and we don’t know what more we can say to make it any clearer.”

Seriously?

The only shame is that Scotland ever let this megalomaniac get as far he did, and destroy the dunes and SSSI (site of special scientific interest) in Dundee, and bully the locals.

You’ve Been Trumped

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February 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump shows his nasty side (again)

Trump balloon hair

Hair fun

While he shows one face and pretends to play the part of some great benefactor for Scotland, the moment he cannot buy favours and get everything his own way, he shows just how committed he is to Scotland – by pulling the plug on his projects  and storming off to pastures new, this time County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, and presumably a new set of local victims for his peculiar brand of generosity.

Via: Donald Trump scraps second Menie golf course – The Scotsman

Also: Donald Trump withdraws application for second golf course

And: Tycoon Donald Trump withdraws plans for second Scots golf course | Aberdeen & North | News | STV

We lucky Scots can wave goodbye and good riddance to this bully, and perhaps wish those across the water the best of luck with their new benefactor.

We can only wait and see if Trump and his entourage spout the same hollow promises to our neighbours, and how long the honeymoon lasts if he starts to apply the same pressure and bully boy techniques and coercion he was allowed to try in Scotland.

Mr Nasty offends victims of Lockerbie and PanAm flight 103

DONALD Trump sparked renewed outrage yesterday when he compared the development of wind farms in Scotland to the Lockerbie disaster.

On Tuesday, the billionaire tycoon announced that the Trump Organisation would be turning its back on Scotland and concentrating on developing a new course on the Republic of Ireland’s Atlantic coast.

The announcement came after Trump lost his legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s decision to give the go-ahead to an offshore wind farm in Aberdeen Bay which he claims will blight the view from his luxury golf resort at Menie, on the Aberdeenshire coast.

But yesterday, Trump sparked an angry backlash after renewing his attack on green energy schemes in Scotland in an interview with the Irish Times.

He told the newspaper: “Wind farms are a disaster for Scotland, like Pan Am 103. They make people sick with the continuous noise. They’re an abomination and are only sustained with government subsidy. Scotland is in the middle of a revolution against wind farms. People don’t want them near their homes, ruining property values.”

All 259 passengers and crew on board Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 residents of Lockerbie were killed when the Boeing 747 plunged from the skies over Dumfries and Galloway on 21 December, 1988, when the plane was destroyed by a terrorist bomb.

Trump’s outburst was condemned by MSPs and relatives of the victims.

Via: Wind farms like Lockerbie disaster – Donald Trump – The Scotsman

He often only has to open his mouth to offend people:

Susan Cohen, a New Jersey pensioner whose daughter Theodora, an aspiring actress, was 20 when she was killed in the disaster, said: “Obviously, there is no call for that. Donald Trump says many, many things here in the United States and I am, of course, appreciative of anyone who takes a tough stand on Lockerbie which he did at times.

“But, at the same time, I think that is an unfortunate choice of words. I wish he had not made that comparison. Lockerbie was a ghastly tragedy that destroyed many lives and is beyond comparison. It is one of the great and terrible events of man’s inhumanity to man and therefore it’s of an order where it should not be likened to anything.”

Joan McAlpine, the SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, claimed: “Even by Donald Trump’s standards, these comments are unbelievably crass and show a complete lack of respect to the families affected by the Lockerbie bombing – in the US, Scotland and across the world. He should withdraw them as a matter of urgency and apologise for any offence he has caused.”

Via: Wind farms like Lockerbie disaster – Donald Trump – The Scotsman

Mr Truth and Light has his claims about wind power officially ruled ‘misleading’

And both offend and spout misinformation and lies:

Alison Johnstone, a Green Party MSP for the Lothians and member of Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee, also hit out at the tycoon’s remarks. She said: “It’s grossly offensive to link renewables with the Lockerbie bombing. Mr Trump has already been reprimanded by advertising authorities for making such distasteful statements and he should apologise for his continued crass behaviour.” Ms Johnstone added: “He didn’t have a shred of evidence that renewables are bad for tourism when he was quizzed in parliament. Twelve-thousand people are now employed in renewables in Scotland, proving that Mr Trump knows nothing about the Scottish economy.”

In December 2012, Trump was accused of “sinking to a new low” and being “sick” for publishing an advert in Scottish newspapers which linked the government’s support of wind farms with the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

The Scottish Green Party lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority over the controversial advert, published in two regional newspapers and urging the public to protest against First Minister Alex Salmond’s support for renewable energy.

Under the banner “Is this the future for Scotland?” the advert featured a picture of a huge wind farm in California and a photograph of the First Minister.

It stated: “Tourism will suffer and the beauty of your country is in jeopardy! This is the same mind that backed the release of terrorist al-Megrahi ‘for humane reasons’ – after he ruthlessly killed 270 people on Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie.”

The advert was condemned as “misleading” by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Via Wind farms like Lockerbie disaster – Donald Trump – The Scotsman

February 15, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump grumps as judge dismisses his windfarm case

Trump balloon hair

Scottish fun

Still unable to accept that his case is crazy, and that he hasn’t been able to use his money to bully the result he wants, Donald Trump has indicated he will continue to fight and appeal a judge’s decision to dismiss his case against wind turbines being installed in the sea, because he think they will upset golfers on his golf course.

Donald Trump has lost a legal action against a major experimental windfarm being built close to his golf resort in Aberdeenshire.

The billionaire property developer had alleged that Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, had secretly interfered in the decision to approve the 11-turbine European offshore wind deployment centre site (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay – a claim rejected on Tuesday by a Scottish civil court judge, Lord Doherty.

Making clear he was expecting to appeal, Trump alleged there had been clear and illegal bias by the Scottish government – and that his rights under the European convention of human rights had been breached.

Doherty dismissed the claims that Salmond had interfered, stating he “was not persuaded that the fair-minded and informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility of bias on the part of the decision-maker; or that the decision not to have a public inquiry had been unreasonable or unlawful”.

In a ruling with far wider significance for the future of Scottish wind power, the judge also disputed a previous court ruling that no wind farm could be approved until or unless it has an electricity generation licence.

Via Donald Trump loses legal challenge to windfarm near his Scottish golf resort | World news | theguardian.com

From New York. Trump’s mouthpiece issued a statement:

“Today’s decision has not altered our unwavering commitment to protect our investment in Scotland.

“We are reviewing Lord Doherty’s decision and will pursue the legal options available to us as recommended by our counsel. Communities worldwide continue to challenge the destructive proliferation of wind turbines and we will remain a fierce opponent at the forefront of this battle.

“Despite today’s decision, the EOWDC proposal has numerous economic and legal obstacles that will ultimately prevent its construction.”

Liking the ballooney hair, attached to the best head ever – note also the bodyguard’s hand, about to deal with the offending arm with the balloon.

The Scotsman later summed things up with a more detailed account of the case:

Defeated Donald Trump turns his back on Scotland – The Scotsman

The headline sums up the bullying Trump, unable to buy or force the result he wants, he throws a strop and storms off somewhere else to try the same, shouting that he’s taking his toys with him.

I find it hard to believe people support this nasty individual, and wonder if there’s a room of people in Trump Tower, just paid to find articles online about their master, and post pro-Trump comments supposedly written by locals who love him.

And the locals love him – like they love Ebola…

You’ve Been Trumped

February 12, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump takes the hump as offshore wind farm gains approval

Tall wind turbine

Proving that he is the last person you would want to do business with, megalomaniac billionaire Donald Trump has made good on his promise to pull the plug on any future investment in his £750 million golf resort in Aberdeenshire, following news that an offshore wind farm that might offend the eyes anyone on the resort has been approved.

This demonstrates that he has no interests but his own in his head, and has just dumped anyone that might have benefited – after abusing all the locals in the area with his bullying and boorish tactics.

He’s not even going gracefully, and has vowed to start a lawsuit:

Mr Trump said: “We will be bringing a lawsuit within the allocated period of time to stop what will definitely be the destruction of Aberdeen and Scotland itself.

Via Consent for Donald Trump row wind farm announced

And Following the decision Mr Trump said he would now bring a “spend whatever monies are necessary” in an effort to stop the project going ahead.

And Donald Trump golf course hotel axed over wind farm – Environment – Scotsman.com

Far from aiding Scotland with his luxury golf resort – which I suspect few locals can afford to use, or be welcome at – his legal actions will end up costing a fortune in legal costs as they drag through the courts.

On the other hand, if he spends on Scottish lawyers and does not import his own American services, then we might benefit.

More Trump costs: Donald Trump pressed Ministers for wind farm probe – Top stories – Scotsman.com

Misinformation

This blog isn’t the place to cover the matter of renewables and wind power, or more specifically, the operating criteria for wind power. but it’s truly appalling to see the amount of misinformation and ignorance displayed by those who are jumping on this issue as one which can be used to rubbish wind power.

While I am not going to get embroiled in this utter nonsense, it is nonetheless sad to see how many people are reposting the rubbish spouted by Trump and his advocates against wind power as if it were fact.

The only saving grace is that none of them actually quote any sort of factual information for reference, or dare look at the figures reported for production from wind.

Probably the most insulting thing they do is misrepresent wind as if it was a single element of renewable energy, and saying that because wind is not productive 24/7 it is useless.

In the real world away from their twisted minds, wind power is one of a number of contributing sources, which are integrated in order to provide a total package.

But – why let truth and fact get in the way of a good fairy story?

March 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Two offshore renewable projects win over £100 million EU funding

Nice to see the announcement of two offshore renewable projects winning over £100 million of European Union (EU) funding.

The EU energy commissioner has confirmed a grant of £36 million (40 million euros) for a proposed offshore wind farm near Aberdeen.  The Aberdeen Bay project would see some 23 wind turbines sited between one and three miles offshore, in an area extending about three miles from the Bridge of Don to Blackdog. The scheme is a joint venture between Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) and Swedish utility company Vattenfall.

A further £67 milion (74 million euros) has also been approved for an offshore platform to be located between Shetland and the Scottish mainland, which will be part of the North Sea Grid, and will permit the connection of wind farms in eight European countries.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wind farm war has usual casualty

Colour wind farm turbinesIt’s odd that I seem to be finding more interesting tales regarding wind farms after I decided to try and ignore them than when I had a spell of watching how they were developing, but the wider view is still providing some relevant information, and revealing some skeletons in the cupboards of both the pro and anti wind brigades.

The Viking Energy wind farm project, for 150 turbines in Shetland, is a joint venture between Scottish and Southern Energy and the island community.

Save Our Scenic Moray (SoSM) is a group opposed to the proposed Dorenell wind farm, near Dufftown in Moray.

Both have had their knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making unsubstantiated claims in their brochures.

That casualty I mentioned, its name begins with the letter ‘T‘.

Naughty wind farm developers

The ASA upheld four complaints against a leaflet published by Viking Energy in May:

  • claims that 50% of the profits would stay in the Shetland Community were wrong, since 5% of the amount within that figure would go to four local shareholders.
  • two claims that up to £30 million could go into the Shetland economy each year and £18 million could be earned by the public purse, were not flagged up clearly enough as mere estimates.
  • claims made in the leaflet that atmospheric pollution created during construction of the wind farm could be balanced out by fewer than three years of wind farm operation, were unsubstantiated.

While Viking Energy admitted their wording was “clumsy”, it denied any suggestion it was trying to mislead, and issued an apology. Not surprisingly, opponents to the development have made the most of this finding, and say it casts doubt over the benefits claimed by the developer.

Naughty wind farm opponents

The ASA also upheld a number of complaints about a SoSM leaflet, saying that it must not be issued again in its current form and that it must contain “robust evidence” to support future claims. The leaflet had been reported to the ASA by Pendragon Consultants, acting on behalf of renewable energy company Infinergy.

The consultants challenged SoSM  claims that the wind farm was a threat to Whisky Glens, that rare golden eagles would die in turbines and that the plan presented “a danger of wildlife disturbance, pollution of rivers and loss of habitat”, and if the group could substantiate claims it made that a wind farm would deter visitors from returning to the area and accommodation providers would suffer “a cash loss”.

 

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Another wind farm sunk

No wind farmI had been considering dropping all references to wind farms. There have been a few schemes proposed near me (by which I mean not in my back yard, but within say 50 miles radius), and because these were half-baked ideas, parachuted into beauty spots, I didn’t mind writing about them in relatively non-neutral negative terms. However, I began to think this was giving me the appearance of being against wind farms, which is not the case, although I would be happy to be classed as being against wind power, provided this was understood as being against not the principle, but the blind adoption of wind power as if it was some sort of miracle answer to renewable energy requirements, which it clearly is not. And there’s a world of difference between expressing a negative opinion, and fostering a negative campaign.

That said, wind farm news is back in, since I merely note how it is progressing. If current news is generally about refusals at the moment, that’s not under my control, and the balance will surely be redressed in future, as approvals are bound to feature more frequently, as developers get the message and propose their installations in more appropriate locations where they cause less offence and potential harm.

WPR Wind Ltd first applied for permission in 2005 to build the 14-turbine Stacain wind farm, near Inveraray, back in 2005, but the plan has now been refused after Scottish ministers decided it would pose a threat to golden eagles. A public inquiry was held after objections from Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB Scotland, and ministers agreed that “wind turbines would introduce a risk of collision for golden eagles”.

The decision was welcomed by Andy Robinson, RSPB Scotland conservation officer for Argyll and Bute, who said, “We need more wind farms but not at any cost to the natural environment… We must deliver much needed renewable energy where it doesn’t harm Scotland’s most precious wildlife.”

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Black Craig wind farm appeal dismissed

No wind farmAfter what seemed to amount to little more than a bribe , packaged as a so-called potential community benefit of £64,000 per annum proposed when the developer (Argyll Windfarms) recently met with members of Bute Community Council, and a planning appeal by the developer behind the proposed 32 MW Black Craig wind farm, which would have seen 16 wind turbines slapped into the view across Rothesay Bay, Scottish ministers have refused to grant planning permission after the original planning application was rejected at the local level.

Ministers agreed with inquiry reporter Karen Heywood, whose view was that permission for Argyll Windfarms Ltd’s development should be denied because of the “significant detrimental landscape and visual impact” of the turbines. The decision was reached after a public enquiry which took place last April, and was held in the village hall at Colintraive.

Ms Heywood was reported to say: “Although I reach no definitive conclusion that the wind farm would have a detrimental impact on tourism in the local area and in Bute in particular,” Ms Heywood wrote, “I do have reservations about the potential impact of approval of a wind farm, especially given my conclusion that the wind farm would be likely to be a focal point in the views from Port Bannatyne and Rothesay.”

The announcement was posted by The Buteman, where a full report appears, together with further comments, which suggested that local feelings were such the decision was neither for nor against wind farms in general, but about the where they are sited, and that following a similar refusal at Corlarach earlier this year, it would have been incongruous for this nearby proposal to have been accepted.

The developer was reported to be reluctant to provide The Buteman with a full comment until their legal team went over the report:

“At the moment we are just reviewing their decision,” company director Mungo Tulloch told The Buteman. “We are very disappointed with the news.”

A simple acceptance of the official result and a graceful withdrawal by the developer might have done the cause of wind farms considerably more good, rather than reaching for the corporate lawyers!

For more coverage of the Black Craig application in The Buteman, see also:

Community council objects to wind farm – October 26, 2006
New submission for Black Craig wind farm – September 20, 2007
Wind farm turmoil returns as inquiry begins – April 15, 2009
Wind farm developer poses £64,000 question – September 2, 2009

…and for the Corlarach development:

Bute waits for wind farm hearing – December 6, 2007
Wind farm plan is thrown out – January 29, 2008
Corlarach inquiry set to begin – January 16, 2009
Wind farm appeal rejected by ministers – May 28, 2009

As this is one of my all time favourite views, all I can say is good riddance to bad rubbish (especially since the developer has did not simply accept the appeal decision), and we can only hope that proposals by some politicians to have the planning process bypassed in order to push through wind farm construction regardless of local opinion never see the light of day.

Rather than whining and trying to introduce inappropriate legislation to ride roughshod over local opinion, they would be better advised to stop worshipping at the god of the wind farm as the answer to renewables, which it clearly is not, and get on with the job of promoting better solutions based on water, and on finding wind farm sites which avoid upsetting people, and making them feel as if they are simply being marched over and ignored. They might find that many of the objections magically disappear, and maybe even turn into support.

September 24, 2009 Posted by | council | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wind farm bribery

No wind farmI keep getting told there’s no such thing as subsidies where wind farms are concerned, yet the evidence always seems to contradict this.

Just because a payment or handout doesn’t have the official title “Subsidy” stamped on it doens’t mean that it isn’t (a subsidy).

Renewable Obligation Certificates are handed out to developers on the basis of the generation capacity they install, costing them nothing (funded by the government/taxes) and which can be traded.

Renewable Obligation Certificates (or ROCs) store details of how electricity was generated, who generated it, and who eventually used it. Since April 2002 all UK licensed electricity suppliers have been obliged to obtain a proportion of the electricity they sell from a selection of eligible renewable sources such as wind and solar power. For every 1,000 units (1 MWh) of green electricity an energy company generates they receive one ROC. A company that generates more than its renewable obligation can sell ROCs to energy suppliers who have failed to meet their RE obligation. In this way power companies are financially motivated to invest in renewable energy generation projects.

Back in 2004, a large electricity provider that likes to promote wind power used to refer to the subsidies they received for building wind farms, they even had a statement on their web site to the effect that the money was so good, they were able to install wind farms on remote and difficult to access sites they would never have considered otherwise.

Unfortunately, the adverse publicity that has arisen around the squeezing of wind farms onto easier to access sites in recent years has led to purging of such content from wind farm owners’ web sites, so without a proper reference to back up the quote, I can no longer refer to it formally, or dare name the provider.

However, there is a current story rumbling along, where the proposed Black Craig wind farm opposite Rothesay Bay has already been rejected Argyll and Bute Council.

Argyll Windfarms has offered to donate £64,000 per year towards community projects on Bute, provided their scheme is granted planning permission.

It would seem that as well as subsidies no longer being called subsidies, the same is true in of payments made to sweeten an otherwise unpalatable deal.

Argyll Windfarms have said they will set up a “community benefit” fund of £160,000 per annum to last the 25 year life of the Black Craig turbines, if Scottish Ministers overturn the refusal decision of Argyll and Bute Council. The amount appears to be dependent on the installed capacity, and amounts to £5,000 per MW by the 16 planned turbines. If the number of turbines is reduced, the community may be penalised as there may be a reduction in the proposed benefit.

Speaking for the Bute Community Council, one member has said that there is little doubt that the money could benefit the community, but that it is not likely to bring about a dramatic change in in the opinion of those who object to the wind farm on the basis of environmental issues, visual impact, or its effect on tourism.

If I wanted to, and I don’t, I wouldn’t have to try and give wind farms a bad name nowadays – their developers can do it all on their own.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Craig wind farm developer dangles £64,000 annual community benefit

Wind farm inquiry question

As noted recently, an appeal by West Coast Energy Ltd against Argyll and Bute Council’s refusal of plans to build a 14-turbine wind farm on Corlarach Hill, facing directly into Rothesay Bay, was dismissed.

At the same time, it was noted that there was another appeal under inquiry with regard to a 16-turbine installation on Black Craig, directly north of Corlarach, by Argyll Windfarms Ltd.

In the past, I’ve been taken to task for suggesting the wind farms received a subsidy, and eventually gave up explaining that I wasn’t referring to direct subsidies, payments or grants, but to the indirect subsidies which apply to the electricity generated by renewable sources. Two sources have provided this indirect subsidy: The Renewables Obligation, which is an artificial market administered by the government’s Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem); and The Climate Change Levy.

For a fuller and more comprehensive description of the process, which I’m not even going to attempt in this space (it can get complicated, even though the idea is simple, but the government’s involved, so what else would you expect?) you can download and read a Word document which gives fuller details here. It’s even got pictures, which might make it easier for some of the folk who have had a go at me – their command of English suggests reading might not be one of their strong points.

Returning to Black Craig, Bute Community Council (BCC) has been told that the developer has suggested that there might be a ‘community benefit’ of £64,000 a year coming Bute’s way – part of an overall payment scheme for the wider area of £4.4 million over 25 years – should the scheme receive planning permission. The developer is reported to be “keen” to meet representatives from Bute to discuss ‘community benefit’.

Also, a local councillor warned that there might be consequences should BCC decline to enter talks until after a final decision is made by Scottish ministers on the fate of the project. He suggest that it may be too late to enter discussions should the project be given the go-ahead, and that the developer may then just do as it pleases once it has approval for the scheme. The councillor pointed out that the law states there should be a ‘community benefit’ of some kind from any wind farm project, and suggested it would do no harm to at least talk to the developer.

That warning, however, cut no ice with a number of BCC members, with treasurer Ian Hopkins suggesting that he felt the offer was “just blackmail”.

The fate of
the Black Craig project currently lies in the hands of Scottish Government.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ministers reject Corlarach Hill wind farm appeal

No wind farmWhile I like to try and provide a sort of balanced review of renewables, but happily admit to shoving yesterday’s dated, knee-jerk, wind farm technology to the bottom of the pile in favour of most hydro based systems (and don’t want to venture into exotic systems that won’t bear fruit for many years), I can’t hide my delight at the recent news that an appeal by West Coast Energy Ltd against Argyll and Bute Council’s refusal of plans to build a 14 turbine wind farm on Corlarach Hill, facing directly onto Rothesay Bay, was dismissed after ministers decided that the project did not meet established guidelines set out by environmental legislation.

Formal opposition to the development dates back to January, when concerns about the plan were aired during a public inquiry held in Dunoon.

Full details of the reasoning behind the decision, by Scottish Government reporter William Patterson, are still to be released.

Philip Norris, from the Dunoon and Cowal Marketing Group, who was a key witness at the appeal said: “I am obviously delighted, and I think all the people in Bute and Cowal will be very relieved. The right place for a large wind farm is where the landscape is featureless, not here, where the landscape quality is important for tourism. By rejecting that proposal, their decision corresponds to the established guidelines set by the government. Common sense has prevailed.”

While this should mark the end of the road for the Corlarach Hill proposal, its seems there is still another appeal under inquiry, with regard to a 16-turbine installation on Black Craig, directly north of Corlarach, by Argyll Windfarms Ltd.

BREAKING NEWS: Ministers reject wind farm appeal

Corlarach Hill plans dismissed after inquiry
Published Date:
28 May 2009
PLANS for a 14-turbine wind farm on Corlarach Hill in Cowal, directly facing Rothesay Bay, have been rejected by Scottish ministers.
An appeal by West Coast Energy Ltd against Argyll and Bute Council’s refusal of the plans was dismissed after ministers decided that the project did not meet established guidelines set out by environmental legislation.

Further details of the reaso

ning behind the decision, by Scottish Government reporter William Patterson, have yet to be released.

News of the decision, which was announced on Thursday, will delight those who have opposed the construction of the wind farm, and who voiced their concerns about the plans during a public inquiry in Dunoon back in January.

“I am obviously delighted, and I think all the people in Bute and Cowal will be very relieved,” said Philip Norris, from the Dunoon and Cowal Marketing Group, who was a key witness

“The right place for a large wind farm is where the landscape is featureless, not here, where the landscape quality is important for tourism.

“By rejecting that proposal, their decision corresponds to the established guidelines set by the government.

“Common sense has prevailed.”

An inquiry report into a similar appeal for a 16-turbine installation on Black Craig, directly north of Corlarach, by Argyll Windfarms Ltd is still being compiled.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

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