Let Malcolm Kirk explain …

Malcolm Kirk


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Why does this matter?

Only too commonplace throughout Scotland are similar classic examples of irresponsible speculative applications, wasting the scarce and valuable resources of planners and other authorities involved. Harm caused to those affected is ignored both by developers and vested interests – as are the resulting adverse health, visual impacts and gross environmental damage so often caused.

It matters to residents and visitors on both sides of Loch Awe because:

  • The visual impact of a development of this scale in this location will have far-reaching effects on their lives, their well being and their legitimate enjoyment of the amenities. Sound, including infrasound also known as Low Frequency Noise, affects close neighbours to turbines and is magnified across bodies of water. Potential adverse health effects are well documented in peer reviewed reports, details of which can be found on this blog.
  • The area is especially vulnerable to losses in the tourist industry from the destruction of cherished landscapes such as this. The Reporter’s recently delivered refusal of another developer’s Appeal against Argyll & Bute Planning Authority’s rejection of the nearby Ardchonnel windfarm application incorporated specific recognition of the damaging effect on tourism in the area.
  • There are very real threats to protected species, including golden eagles and other wild life with habitats in the adjacent officially designated SPA (Special Protected Area). Importantly, there is also a risk that private water supplies may be seriously contaminated by, as has occurred in other windfarm developments in Scotland. For details of such implications see the document ‘Request for Action’ in http://www.windsofjustice.org.uk.
    19 colossal turbines 450 feet high will not only dominate the hills-and-water landscape of North Loch Awe. The building of a gigantic industrial complex of steel, fibreglass and concrete, with access roads for mammoth construction equipment and quarries for the vast amount of foundation materials needed, will cause destruction of the land and unprecedented disruption to the roads network.

It matters because:

The North-East end of Loch Awe is an inland landscape of mountains, loch and islands whose configuration is second to none in Scotland. It contains:

  • no fewer than twelve islands.
  • two historic ruined castles – Kilchurn and Fraoch Eilean.
  • an ancient burial ground at the Chapel of Fyndoca on the island of Inishail with carved stones dating back to crusading times.
    ten offshore crannogs along its shoreline.

The Chapel of Fyndoca and Kilchurn Castle are both Scheduled Monuments.

As well as the beauty and undisturbed tranquillity of the Loch Awe landscape – repeatedly immortalised in literature and paintings such as J M W Turner’s watercolour of Kilchurn Castle, Sir Walter Scott’s novella The Highland Widow and the poetry of the blind bard of Glen Orchy, Duncan Ban MacIntyre, whose monument overlooks the entire wide panorama of the loch from above Ardteatle Bay – the powerful historic and aesthetic inspiration of the region is of immense intrinsic interest to our tourist industry as well as to the general well-being of Argyll and the West Highlands. We cannot stand by and allow this wonderful, unique environment to be desecrated by the intrusion of gigantic wind turbines – not just overlooking, but actually WITHIN it. No amount of cosmetic ‘landscaping’, could mitigate the appearance of a major industrial development covering an ugly, barren scar of newly felled coniferous forest, wholly detrimental to the ambience and nature of the area.

Serious questions are increasingly being asked as to the overall value and efficacy of onshore wind-generated power and its role in the mix of secure, stable, reliable energy needed to fulfil the domestic and industrial needs of our society. While these questions are outside the parameters of a judgement of the merits or otherwise of a planning application, what is indisputable is that the wrong type of energy generation in the wrong place will do immeasurable harm.

The Upper Sonachan Wind farm proposal falls firmly into this category. All who recognise this are urged to make their feelings known by registering their objection. For guidance on how best to do so, please click on the flyer image on the top right of the side bar.

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Upper Sonachan Wind Farm Objection

Planning Application to the Scottish Government by Ecotricity Ltd.

This group of six pictures of – LOCH AWE & BEN CRUACHAN and is intended to highlight “in the round” the great natural beauty of our environment and to illustrate how detrimentally it would be affected by the construction of gigantic wind turbines in a prominent position within it. Although the photographs in Appendix A, B and C were taken several years ago, the landscape topography remains unchanged and will to this day appear substantially the same to anyone seeing it from these viewpoints lucky enough to enjoy similar weather conditions. For copyright reasons we cannot include any of the 24 visualisations prepared by Ecotricity from their chosen viewpoints, but they may be seen in the developer’s Environmental Statement, available for consultation at Oban Library and at Argyll and Bute Council Oban offices, or to view or download from http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/upper-sonachan.

All six original photographs in this presentation were taken by Andrew A. Rose and are copyright. The recent images P1, P2 and P3 include visualisations of the proposed turbines in situ prepared by Malcolm Kirk.

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 P1. VIEW FROM APPROACH ROAD TO CRUACHAN DAM on the shoulder of Ben Cruachan | OS Map Ref. 72645 21085. Date 30 May 2015. 75mm lens. | This is just one of the views seen by walkers and climbers taking the easy route up Ben Cruachan, and by organised groups driving up to Cruachan Dam. The sacred isle of Inishail, once the site of a Cistercian Nunnery, occupies a prominent position on the centre left of the picture. Holiday-makers and residents alike would experience even closer views of the proposed wind turbines when circumnavigating the beautiful group of islands in the middle of Loch Awe and when visiting the Chapel of Fyndoca and the ancient burial ground containing several gravestones dating back to Crusader times, on Inishail. Many visitors enjoy camping and picnicking on the islands during the holiday season between April and October.


P2. VIEW FROM THE PUBLIC ROAD BELOW DUNCAN BAN MACINTyRE MONUMENT near Dalmally, looking West South West. | OS Map Ref. 72585 21430. Date 10 June 2015. 75mm lens. | Looking from left to right in this famous panoramic view: the hillside with the proposed Upper Sonachan Wind “Park”; Loch Awe with some of its islands; the entrance to the Pass of Brander and the shoulder of Ben Cruachan. The already operational wind farms at Carraig Gheal and Beinn Ghlas can be seen on the summits of the two hills centre and right.


P3. VIEW FROM THE PUBLIC ROAD C29 AT FERNOCH HILL between Kilchrenan and Dalavich.| OS Map Ref. 71985 20145. Date 10 June 2015. | 75mm lens. This is the main tourist route along the north-west side of the loch and a favourite viewpoint for photographers. Panning from left to right we see the shoulder of Ben Cruachan and Loch Awe with Ben Lui in the distance; then on the south side of the loch the ridge of the hill behind which would be situated the proposed Upper Sonachan Wind “Park”. While from this viewpoint the blades of only one turbine would be visible, the remainder just out of sight below the crest of the hill, everyone approaching Kilchrenan from the north on the B845 road will have all 19 turbines in full view from the crest of the hill leading into the village.


Appendix A: View taken from the hillside above Sonachan house:OS Map Ref: 71985 20395 Showing the whole length of the Ben Cruachan massif. This view of Ben Cruachan is paralleled by that from the site of the proposed Upper Sonachan Windfarm which is approximately one mile to the east; i.e. just beyond the right side of the picture. This wide-angle photo was taken several years ago, but the mountain topography remains unchanged. On right is a diagram emphasising the ‘head-on’ relationship of the proposed windfarm to Ben Cruachan. Unlike many onshore windfarms which are located in relative obscurity on upland plateau, this one would in effect be a full-frontal exposure on sloping ground directly overlooking one of the loveliest reaches of one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland, as well as being sited directly opposite the magnificent mountain massif of Ben Cruachan and the settlement of Kilchrenan.


APPENDIX B: VIEW FROM AFFORESTED GROUND ABOVE ARDBRECKNISH and below the proposed site of the turbines |OS Map Ref. 72065 20760. | As with the photographs reproduced in Appendices A and C, it shows the unmistakable quality of “the sublime”, one of the main sparks that ignited tourism to the West Highlands in the 19th Century. It is a particular irony that this very view should now be facing the intrusive head-on prospect of an industrial complex of gigantic wind turbines attempting to disguise its true nature by describing itself as a “Park”.


APPENDIX C: VIEW FROM ABOVE THE A819 ROAD at Bovuy near Cladich| Map Ref. OS 72250 21050. | It shows Loch Awe with Inishail and the Black Isles beneath Ben Cruachan and the entrance to the Pass of Brander. The photo was taken several years ago but the landscape topography remains unchanged. Upper Sonachan Wind “Park” would be situated between Aspects A and C on the attached map, directly facing Loch Awe and Ben Cruachan.

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Upper Sonachan wind farm visualisations From original scoping report

Note: The positions of the turbine visualisations pictured here are from the original scoping report and a few have since been slightly moved.  Due to the angle of shot, some turbines are missing. Nonetheless, the overall visual effect remains approximately the same.


Photo 1. View taken from the shoreline of Loch Awe at the site of the old pier at Ardanaiseig. OS Map Ref. 72455 20935, looking South West. This is the view that holiday-makers and residents alike would experience when circumnavigating the beautiful group of islands in the middle of Loch Awe.


Photo 2.  The view from the public road from Kilchrenan to Ardanaiseig, near Larach Ban. OS Map Ref. 72330 20660, looking South. Date 10 June 2015, lens 75mm. All visitors to the 5-star Ardanaiseig Hotel would be subjected to this intrusive view every time they pass in or out, in addition to views of the existing Carraig Gheal and Beinn Ghlas windfarms to the West.


  The view from the public road B845 at the north end of Kilchrenan Village. OS Map Ref. 72340 20355, looking South East. Date 14 May 2015, lens 74mm.

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Open letter to Dr Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist

“Your report appears to breach section 137.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 in multiple, highly material, ways whose effect is to mislead while advocating a policy which lengthy historical evidence shows has created harm to the people of Australia and creates more harm the longer it is pursued.”

Hi all,

Dr Michael Crawford wrote this excellent open letter to Dr Finkel on June 23, 2017:

Best wishes,

Dominic Mette

Together against wind turbines


Posted in Environment, Health, Politics, Technology, Wind Power | 1 Comment

Rocketing Power Prices Mean Australia’s Renewable Energy Target is Unsustainable and Ready to Implode


Look into my eyes, look into my eyes: your power bills
just went DOWN 20%, thanks to AGL’s subsidised wind power.


Renewables rent-seeker, AGL has launched a propaganda war in Australia’s media, since the release of Alan Finkel’s fantasyland review of Australia’s power market calamity.

Finkel’s report promised Australia’s very own Enron, among others, the opportunity to rape and pillage in a power market with an effective 42% RET, dominated by intermittent and unreliable wind and solar power.

No doubt, Andrew Vesey & Co were salivating at the prospect of Finkel’s clean energy target (CET) being snapped up by the Liberal/National Coalition government.

Alas, it wasn’t to be: hence Australia’s print and broadcast media have been blitzed with a multi-million dollar campaign launched by AGL in an attempt to con Australians into believing that the reason that their power bills are now close to the highest in the world…

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Re. Supreme Court decision re planning of wind turbine project, Çeşme, Turkey

Supreme Court decision re planning of wind turbine project, Çeşme, Turkey

This decision of the Supreme Court is one of the most important judicial verdicts ruled in Turkey regarding wind turbine projects.

Hi all,

Here is a summary by Mehmet Horuş, environment lawyer:

‘One of the most fundamental issues regarding ABK Çeşme RES project is that it is being established on a “1st degree natural protected area”, abbreviated as SIT. At present, because wind turbine project cases are something new to the judicial system, the courts have not been able to establish a clear approach in this respect. Of course until now, the courts have also been affected by these projects being presented as “renewables”. However, according to the laws in Turkey, the establishment of wind turbine projects should never be allowed on the 1st degree natural SIT areas. Due to this, The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization issued a resolution N° 98, with this regulation titled “RES Resolution Decision in Natural SIT Areas”, a 300-meter distance condition has been brought in to the criteria. It may be argued what makes the distance of 300 meters, but with this principle, the Ministry of the Environment has accepted the fact that wind turbine projects have an impact on the environment. Thus, a scientific fact was legally accepted, although partially, as well. The pre-acceptance of the impact of wind turbine projects on natural environment as “ZERO” has now been refuted.

In the development plans prepared for ABK Çeşme RES, the effects of RES wind turbines had been acknowledged as “ZERO”, and the effects on the environment were limited only to the impact of the turbine platform areas during the construction.

The Supreme Court/the Highest Court has finally ruled that this approach is unacceptable. Under the laws of the Turkish Republic, it has been concluded that scientifically and legally it is wrong to make “spotted” and “fragmented” plans. The verdict stated that the evaluation and assessment as a whole region should be made and that the development and construction plans prepared for ABK Çeşme RES should be canceled.

This decision of the Supreme Court is one of the most important judicial verdicts ruled in Turkey regarding wind turbine projects. What is even more important is that all court cases against ABK RES regarding expropriation, license, EIA, not required that had been on halt until this decision of the Supreme Court now will be ruled. Henceforward, all administrative permits for this project have to be cancelled.

Mehmet Horuş
Environment lawyer’

Best wishes,

Dominic Mette

Together against wind turbines



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French village for sale due to wind turbines

Comment from FED France:

Just have a look at the title of this FR3 French national TV reportage

A French village for sale …..inhabitants “fed-up” with  wind turbines
There  is a “for sale panel”  on every house.

 - - -

LETTRE D’INFORMATION :  11 juin 2017




France 3France Télévisions

VIDEO. “A vendre. Cause : éolienne” : le ras-le-bol des habitants de Montagne-Fayel face aux nuisances

Cela ressemble à une petite annonce, et pourtant, c’est un cri de protestation : dans la Somme, le village de Montagne-Fayel est à vendre.

A Montagne-Fayel (Somme), les panonceaux fleurissent sur les façades des maisons : “A vendre. Cause : éoliennes”. Une façon pour les habitants d’afficher leur ras-le-bol. L’extrême proximité des éoliennes, à 600 mètres des riverains, provoque depuis deux ans des nuisances parfois inattendues…..

20 000 euros pour la commune

Jean-Marie Bachelet, lui, a une grande véranda, qui fait caisse de résonance : “Il est impossible de se parler à un mètre de distance“. Autour du village, les projets et les parcs éoliens se multiplient. 50 mâts, déjà implantés dans un rayon de 7 kilomètres autour de Montagne-Fayel, et une soixantaine en prévision. Le maire, lui, ne comprend pas cette levée de boucliers : en 2018, sa commune percevra 20 000 euros grâce à son parc éolien.





Jean-Louis Butré

Fédération Environnement Durable


tel 06 80 99 38 08

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Wind Power Outfit – NextEra Drives Off Bats Using Sonic Torture Devices


A justifiably angry Esther Wrightman unloads on NextEra’s latest outrage in Ontario.

Wind developers deploy ultrasonic units to ‘jam’ bat echolocation
Ontario Wind Resistance
Esther Wrightman
26 May 2017

NextEra is sticking Ultrasonic Units on their Jericho, Goshen and Bluewater wind turbines for the purpose of deterring bats from flying near them.

Perhaps this wouldn’t piss me off so much if pre-construction they had absolutely no idea that bats were going to be killed by their machines.

But they did. And they built them anyways. Now what is their solution?

To “jam” (their word) the bat’s echolocation with ultrasonic frequencies. Then they won’t be able to communicate or know where the fuck (yeah I’m mad) they are flying, and will hopefully flee to some non-turbine infested area, if they still exist anywhere locally. I believe this is called “habitat displacement”, which Dr. Scott Petrie warned all the wind developers of…

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Well worth reading. http://euanmearns.com/?p=18511

In this post Euan once again tells us more facts, this time relating to National Grid reports, and that for the first time, over 50% of UK electricity came from renewable electricity (RE) on 7th June.  The following letter from Lyndsey Ward on the same theme was published today 10.06.17 by the P & J in Scotland:

I am appalled at the cherry picking of statistics by WWF in order to hoodwink what they hope will be a gullible public. We never have the trumpeting of wind performance in the depths of winter when there isn’t even the merest whisper of turbine energy generated for days. Instead they pick a warm balmy month when there is no demand from England, we can’t sell them the energy produced and we don’t need it in Scotland. Instead we are paying millions to switch off the reckless over deployment of Scotland’s wind fleet on the very days the ‘environmentalists’ are whooping and jumping with joy that the turbine blades are actually turning.
WWF need to look at what all this is costing the consumer and publish those figures instead of promoting an industry that is raking in money from the vulnerable every which way it can. Westminster also needs to slam the door shut on this appalling abuse of our money.
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Swedish Study Proves Pulsing Low-Frequency Wind Turbine Noise Causes Sleep Deprivation


The reason they can’t sleep just became clearer.

For those unfortunates forced to live with incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound, the cause of their inability to sleep is no mystery.

Following the same trail being blazed by the Max Planck Institute in Germany which found infrasound exposure as the scientific cause of stress, sleep disruption and much more – Wind Farm Victim’s Smoking Gun: German Research Reveals Infrasound Exposure Causes Stress, Sleep Disruption & More – a Swedish research group is working on proving the obvious connection between wind turbine noise emissions and sleep problems in the lab – problems which are universally experienced by wind farm neighbours around the globe, including farmers paid hundreds of thousands a year to host turbines (see our post here).

STT hears that the Swedish group has recently met with Australian sleep/noise researchers and that the results of further and more…

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