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.

ggggg cruachan1

 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.

cruachandam2

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.

cruachan4

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.

sonachanhse

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.

ardbrecknish

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”.

cladich

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.

photo1

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.

photo2

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.

photo3

  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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Enemy Within: Virtue Signalling Renewable Energy Zealots Determined to Destroy Australia’s Economic Prosperity

STOP THESE THINGS

It started with a kiss …

Wind and solar is a purely political phenomenon: they have nothing to do with economics, instead, they’re all about virtue signalling.

In the absence of massive and endless subsidies, this wouldn’t even be a topic.

The idea that an economy can run on sunshine and breezes is, of course, patent nonsense. Debacles like South Australia, Ontario and Germany stand testament to the damage that can be very easily done by a deranged and determined few.

Driven by a religious fervour that would have made those in charge of the Spanish Inquisition blush, renewable energy zealots gain their purported license from hysterical claims about the tiny fraction of carbon dioxide gas generated by human activity.

The argument runs that in order to save the world from imminent incineration, we need to switch immediately to an all wind and sun powered future. Except, wherever that’s…

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Renewables Reality Bites: Wind & Solar Power Chaos Threatens Complete Grid Collapse

STOP THESE THINGS

The Australian summer is a few weeks away and with it comes the threat of mass blackouts, caused by the chaotic delivery of wind and solar.

As temperatures soar, so does the demand for electricity, as businesses and households crank up their air conditioners to make life more tolerable indoors.

When demand spikes in Australia these days, grid managers are more concerned about whether or not the wind is blowing or the sun is up.

As the sun sets on a breathless 42°C summer’s day, demand hits the roof and wind and solar output hits the floor.

The last two summers saw numerous near misses in NSW, Victoria and SA. The wholesale collapse of the Eastern Grid was avoided more by luck than good management.

Under the euphemistic ‘demand management’, dozens of energy hungry businesses were simply cut from the grid; even hospitals were forced to power-down in…

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Is Wind Power Really “The Cheapest Form Of Producing Electricity Today”, Mr Gummer?

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

https://www.thegwpf.com/bbc-finds-lord-deben-guilty-of-misleading-public/

As I reported last week, the GWPF partially won its complaint against the BBC, for failing to challenge Lord Deben on the Today programme when he claimed:

“What on earth is the government doing, saying that even where a community wants to have an onshore wind farm, it can’t have it. This is sheer dogma.”

Deben, aka Gummer, also stated that onshore wind power is the “cheapest form of producing electricity today”.

The BBC rejected this part of the complaint, which has now been sent up to OFCOM.

So, what are the facts about the cost of onshore wind?

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African Penguin Decline – BBC Fake News

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

As we found out last week, the directive has come down from on high at the BBC to ramp up climate alarm at every opportunity they get.

The memo has evidently been received in the BBC newsroom, who broadcast this flagrantly dishonest piece yesterday about African penguins on Outside Source (at about 51 minutes in):

image

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bnl4gy/outside-source-15102018

Unfortunately the programme expires on iPlayer tonight, but this is the full transcript:

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Article to be shared……..

See: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/10/14/booker-on-the-uns-latest-mega-panic/

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Renewables Rejected: More Countries Get Serious About Serious Power Generation

STOP THESE THINGS

Countries serious about their economic prosperity are getting serious about serious power generation. Ontario, China and Japan have slashed subsidies and mandated targets for wind and solar; between them China and Japan are building hundreds of high-efficiency, low emissions coal-fired plant at home and even more across South-East Asia.

Germany’s transition to an all wind and sun powered future has descended into an economic debacle and, soon enough, it will be forced to retreat from the brink.

Australia’s new Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor is determined to slash subsidies to wind and solar, referring to them as “virtue signalling with other people’s money”. Ominous stuff for renewable energy rent seekers, Downunder.

It’s almost like there’s been a breakout of common sense!

Lawrence Solomon picks up the theme below.

Lawrence Solomon: Trudeau stands alone as Canada — and the world — abandons green energy
Business Financial Post
Lawrence Solomon

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Game Over: Australia’s Energy Minister Slams Chaos Delivered by Subsidised Wind & Solar

STOP THESE THINGS

The reason Australia’s renewable energy rent seekers are suicidal has a name: Angus Taylor. The Federal Energy Minister hates subsidised wind and solar with a passion. Taylor was elevated to the position in late July, and since then he’s been giving those involved in the greatest fraud of all time hell.

Last week, Taylor appeared at a conference organised by lefty business rag, the Australian Financial Review. Its journos are fully paid up members of the wind and sun cult, and are having a very hard time dealing with the reality that Angus Taylor is now firmly in charge.

Angus Taylor in new drive for reliable power supply post-NEG
Australian Financial Review
Angela Macdonald-Smith and Ben Potter
10 October 2018

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor will unveil a fresh push to keep alive the reliability mechanism in the now-abandoned National Energy Guarantee in a move that will put the…

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