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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Insane Cost of Ontario’s Wind Power Obsession Killing Thousands of Manufacturing Jobs Forever

Yet another reason why those who govern us need to PROVE that forcing the imposition of energy policy involving wind power is not detrimental to our financial, physical and environmental health. It is becoming abundantly clear that governments around the world are not only failing to provide that proof, but are actively complicit in inflicting harm and exhibiting wilful blindness to all negative effects of that policy.


The principles of economics are not hard, nor are they a mystery.

Jobs require viable businesses, viable businesses require cheap and reliable electricity. Deprive businesses of cheap and reliable power and those businesses will very soon cease to exist.

Those truisms, however, continue to fall on deaf ears in Australia’s so-called ‘wind power capital’, South Australia. Its obsession with wind power has relegated it to the status of not just a national, but to that of an international laughing stock.

The reasons for that have been spelt out on these pages time and time again, such as in this post: South Australia’s Disastrous Wind Power Experiment: Business Crippled as Power Prices Double

No amount of political varnish or PR polish can avoid the conclusion that SA’s skyrocketing power prices and erratic supply are all due to heavily subsidised wind and solar power – which have not only destroyed its once…

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Australian Court Finds Wind Turbine Noise Exposure a ‘Pathway to Disease’: Waubra Foundation Vindicated

All UK and European lawyers please take note.



In a World first, Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has declared that the “noise annoyance” caused by wind turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound “is a plausible pathway to disease” based on the “established association between noise annoyance and some diseases, including hypertension and cardiovascular disease, possibly mediated in part by disturbed sleep and/or psychological stress/distress.”

The AAT also held that “The dB(A) weighting system is not designed to measure [wind turbine noise], and is not an appropriate way of measuring it.”

The dB(A) weighting system is the basis of every wind turbine noise guideline in operation around the world.

The AAT’s finding means that every one of those noise guidelines is premised on an acoustic nonsense and, therefore, entirely irrelevant.

The decision, which we deal with below, came at a time when Australia’s self-appointed wind turbine noise health ‘expert’, Simon Chapman (a former tobacco advertising guru) was feverishly…

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Wind Farm Refugees: Turbine Noise Forces Highlander to Abandon Home & Sleep in her Car

In the light of this case and so many others, where, officials and members of the Committee responsible, are the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2016 Noise Guidelines ? This is now seriously overdue and this organisation has received hundreds, possibly thousands of complaints about wind turbines and the suffering they cause, from all around the World. Plus peer reviewed reports and an Open Letter signed by many health and engineering professionals. These guidelines are supposed to be addressing wind power issues for the first time. Now that evidence of adverse impacts is irrefutable, and despite intense lobbying from vested interests and the wind industry, time for a truthful documenting of the facts to be produced within the new Guidelines.


What wind farm neighbours have to tolerate is nothing short of criminal: incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound drives neighbours nuts and, where they have the option, out of their homes altogether. The most common adverse health effect caused by wind turbine noise emissions is sleep deprivation, which brings with it a grab bag of other even more serious health effects.

One of the wind industry’s hackneyed myth is that these well-known adverse health effects are all a figment of the countless victims’ febrile and readily suggestible imaginations.

The so-called ‘nocebo’ theory – cooked up by a former tobacco advertising guru – also has it that it is only those people who are not being paid who complain of ill effects from turbine noise and vibration; their runaway ‘jealousy’ being the cause.

However, that theory doesn’t seem to sit all that well with people like Clive and Trina Gare…

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Scotland’s green watchdog wined and dined by polluters

Rob Edwards | The Ferret

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has been repeatedly wined and dined by the fish farming, whisky and power industries, prompting questions to be raised about its impartiality.

Information released by Sepa reveals that 13 board members and senior officials have been treated to 16 meals over the last two years. Five were paid for by fish farming firms, three by the whisky industry, three by power companies and five by other business groups.

Pollution from caged salmon farms, whisky distilleries and power plants is regulated by Sepa, and has caused multiple problems in the past. The Ferret has reported how Sepa bowed to pressure from the fish farming industry to drop a proposed ban on a toxic pesticide harming wildlife in sea lochs.

Critics have accused Sepa of being “schmoozed” by polluters and are demanding a shake-up. Sepa, however, insists its engagement with companies is “entirely appropriate” and strongly defends its impartiality and independence.

The way Sepa regulates fish farming is undergoing a major review, with deep divisions between industry and environmentalists on the way forward. The industry is planning to double its business from £1.8 billion in 2016 to £3.6 billion by 2030.

In March 2017 Sepa board member, Bill McKelvey, and Sepa’s then head of regulatory services in the north, Anne Anderson, attended an anniversary dinner hosted by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO), which represents fish farmers.

Anderson was also given breakfast by two fish farming companies in June 2017, Marine Harvest and Loch Duart Salmon. Sepa’s chief executive, Terry A’Hearn, was given dinner by SSPO in November 2015 and April 2016.

Seven whisky distilleries were rated as “poor” for pollution by Sepa in 2014, as were four in 2015. In November 2016 and 2017 four senior Sepa officials attended annual dinners of the Malt Distillers Association of Scotland at a hotel in Elgin.

On 9 November 2017 Sepa’s chairman, Bob Downes and a senior Sepa official were the guests of the Scotch Whisky Association for dinner at the Macallan distillery in Aberlour. This followed a two-day visit looking at the industry’s energy generation and conservation schemes.

The coal-fired power station at Longannet in Fife was by far the most polluting plant in Scotland before it closed down in March 2016. In May 2016 Sepa’s head of operations in the east of Scotland, Lin Bunten, and another senior Sepa official were the guests of the plant’s operator, Scottish Power, at a Longannet memorial dinner in Stirling Castle.

Bunten was also the guest of Scottish Power Renewables for dinner in June 2016 and of the industry group, Scottish Renewables, at an awards dinner in May 2017. Other Sepa officials declared dinners from the waste company Viridor, the pro-business Scottish Council Development and Industry, and others (see table below).

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The Good Energy Con


By Paul Homewood

Good Energy are one of those annoying, virtue signalling companies that think they have a mission to transform our lives.



According to their website:

All of the electricity Good Energy provides comes from over 1,000 different locations across the UK, harnessing local, natural sources like sunshine, wind, rain and biofuels.

In fact this is not true, as their own website later explains:

When you switch to us, we match all the electricity you use over a year with electricity sourced purely from renewables.

In other words, when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow, they have to resort to other sources to supply their customers, who I think we can reliably assume do not switch off all of their electrical appliances instead.

The only thing that Good Energy do is to balance their sourcing of renewable energy over the year as…

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Massachusetts Politicians Ignore Puerto Rico Wind Turbine Damage


Falmouth Patch

Massachusetts Plans To Put Wind Turbines In The Ocean Even After Hurricane Bob in 1991. 

Cape Cod Lost 600 Utility Poles During That Storm.

Massachusetts USA 

Puerto Rico contains two large-scale wind farms (totaling over 120 megawatts) and small-scale single turbines along the coasts.

Puerto Rico lost 120 megawatts of land-based wind turbine power in one storm.

Hurricane Maria wiped out almost every wind turbine on the island.

Two land-based wind turbine farms supply the bulk of the renewable energy generation, Santa Isabel, and Punta de Lima. The rest of the turbines are along the coast similar to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Puerto Rico started to invest in wind energy to help get the country out of debt which appears to be one of the worst decisions they ever made. Industrial wind is a bunco scheme of enormous consequence.The people who value intellectual honesty should not quietly be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government and the news media.
Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 megawatts in size and cost roughly $3-$4 million installed.

The wind turbine repairs in Puerto Rico would be much higher as the older turbines would be removed first.

Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island and unincorporated U.S. territory.

Puerto Rico has around the same amount of wind turbine megawatts as that of the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts hasn’t seen a hurricane since Hurricane Bob in 1991.
Massachusetts politicians have taken the health and property rights of citizens with land-based wind turbines and now plan to put wind turbines in the ocean despite what happened in Puerto Rico.

Massachusetts taxpayers have to start asking why the politicians are gambling with their health and pocketbooks.

Puerto Rico video below wind turbine impacts of major damage from Hurricane Maria

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Hearing for National Scenic Area Petition PEO1655 VIDEO


The Scottish Parliament

“PE1655 by Christine Metcalfe on behalf of Avich & Kilchrenan Community Council on Scotland’s National Scenic Areas; and will take evidence from— Christine Metcalfe, Alan Mitchell, Community Councillor, Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council; and Douglas Wynn.”

Read the minutes here: Scottish Parliament meeting for PE01655. 14.09.17.(PDF)

See also:  National Scenic Area Petition and A Seminar On Wind Turbine Noise

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