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Windfarms in the Media - Feb 9 2005

Powergen exhibition picketed

Published on 08 February 2005

PROTESTING villagers picketed an exhibition for a proposed wind farm.

E.ON UK, which runs Powergen, held an exhibition at Catworth promoting a wind farm scheme which has been rejected by three- quarters of residents in a village poll.

Catworth Hill Action Group (CHAG) staged a protest outside the hall, saying they were determined to see the back of the proposal where three 300ft-high turbines would be built on the edge of the village.

John McCreath, chairman of CHAG, said the group has regarded the matter as "history" since the vote and could not understand why E.ON was pushing ahead with plans.

He said: "This started off as a community project. If the community had supported it, the village would have got £5,000 to £10,000 a year.

"We, as a village, had carried out a village poll and 75 per cent said 'No'. The parish council unanimously objected too."

Answering villagers' questions at the exhibition, Chantal Thomas said: "This is an opportunity for local people to see the wind farm project. Three turbines will power more than 4,000 homes."

She said there was no evidence that wind farms reduced house prices and stressed they were a greener way to produce power.

Coun Mike Baker, who represents Ellington, attended the exhibition.

He said: "I've had a bigger postbag on this issue than any other issue in the last five years. There are strong views on both sides. Whilst people are keen on renewable sources of energy there are many concerns about noise and the visual impact."



18:00 - 02 February 2005

If you want wind turbines, be prepared to lose about 20-30 per cent of the value of your property.

Be prepared for your area to be deemed "blighted" and be prepared to pay.

Wind-generated power is three-and-a-half times more than coal or gas-generated electricity

Be prepared to have your countryside desecrated and dominated by 400 ft steel monsters which have to be embedded in thousands of tons of re-inforced concrete.

There is evidence wind turbines affect the health of some. Yet, ministers quote all sorts of percentages of this and that to convince us otherwise

The most up-to-date poll results reported recently that 1,700 people responded to the Tan 8 document and 87 per cent were against the planning procedure which proposed seven huge areas of Wales have turbines.

And, as for our duty to stop climate change, the UK's CO? emissions represent about two per cent of the global emissions while Wales emits one 10th of that.

Pollution from air travel has increased 86 per cent and freight pollution by 57 per cent since 1990.

It is known we waste 30 per cent of our energy so, logically, if we conserved energy there would be that much less pollution

Even Tony Blair says the two turbines planned for his constituency are not suitable so why should Wales be so heavily targeted?

Ceinwen Rees





18:00 - 03 February 2005

Up on Betws Mountain and overlooking Ammanford, a wind farm company has placed a gauge on a communications mast without applying for planning permission. Even Carmarthenshire Council had to get permission to put something up there. The enforcement department has made a "non-decision" as it would cost too much money to pursue. As soon as a monitoring device goes up a mast, property values plummet.

Prices have dropped at least 25 per cent for a home and more for a farm. High Court decisions prove this. It's not good news, even for first time buyers. Nobody wants to buy anything when a wind farm is built. Better sell your property now.

So much for the tidy retirement nest eggs you've built up ... and all because foreign companies want to take advantage of huge subsidies.

They're guaranteed obscene profits for 25 years and you'll have to pay three times the cost for their electricity. The turbines don't work. This is a false wind rush that will cost our beloved mountain and us dearly.

Contact your councillors telling them to stop this madness now.

Ellyn Harries,

Iscennen Road, Ammanford



Objectors step up turbine fight

OBJECTORS to plans for a windfarm on the mountains overlooking Abertillery and Blaina are stepping up their campaign.

Residents say that the proposed windfarm - planned by Pennant Wind Energy Farms - would blight the landscape and be detrimental to local wildlife.

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent council, which is to consider the plans for the windfarm, say it is not yet known when the proposals will be presented to the planning committee for a decision. But Cwmtillery councillor Mark Holland, who is involved in the campaign against the windfarm, says he expects it to be before April.

And he is encouraging people from all over Blaenau Gwent to become involved in the protest.

Councillor Holland said yesterday that he hopes about 1,000 people will turn up at the council meeting when the windfarm is finally discussed.

"If they are successful it could snowball and set a precedent. Blaenau Gwent could be singled out for these windfarms," he said.

"We are hopeful that the more people turn up it will help us to win.

"We cannot afford to get complacent."

He added that if the council turned down the proposals and the company appealed to the Assembly, protesters were prepared to head to Cardiff to object as well.

He added that Blaenau Gwent's prospective parliamentary candidate Maggie Jones had given the campaigners a lot of support.

A public meeting has now been called to plan the campaign's next steps.

This will be held at St Peter's Church in Aber-tillery on February 24.

A spokesman for Pennant Wind Energy Farms said: "Wales is committed to developing renewable energy and the pace of climate change seems to underline the fact that we need to take action.

"We accept that some people seem to dislike the look of windfarms but it is a subjective matter.


 MIXED RESPONSE TO PROPOSALS LODGED WITH COUNCIL FOR WINDFARM Plans for a £28million windfarm at Montreathmont Moor have been lodged with Angus Council.

The development would involve 19 turbines in a forest two-and-a-half miles north of Friockheim and three miles south of Brechin, on land owned by Southesk Estates.

The applicants, Wind Prospect and Ridgewind, say the development would be 800 metres from the nearest residential property.

But with a ground to blade tip height of 120 metres, objectors claim the turbines would be visible from as far away as Montrose.

Ronnie Young, secretary of Aberlemno Community Council, said the proposals had received a mixed response from local residents.

He said: "People living within close range of it are very anti and those out of sight are fairly indifferent. They (the turbines) will be almost 400ft high and will be clearly visible on a sight-line from Montrose across the basin nature reserve.

"I also wonder how the windfarm will affect the thousands of birds that fly into the basin for the winter?"

The two companies claim the 19 turbines would make a positive contribution to the fight against climate change by providing enough clean, green energy to meet the equivalent needs of over 21,000 homes.

Onshore wind power is acknowledged in the Angus local plan as the greatest opportunity for developing renewable energy in the county. However, the visual impact of any development is also taken into consideration by the council.

Proposals for large-scale wind energy development is not permitted in highland and coastal areas including Kirkton of Glenisla, Montrose, and Arbroath, which are seen to be highly sensitive.

For developments in medium sensitivity areas, such as Brechin, Forfar, and Friockheim, applicants are required to demonstrate that the chosen site is the most suitable in the immediate area before plans will be considered for approval.


 Bellamy backs windfarm group


ENVIRONMENTALIST David Bellamy will be turning out to support pressure group GLARE at their information day in Dalry on February 12.

Alison Chapman, GLARE co-ordinator, said Mr Bellamy planned to visit Dalry as part of a tour which would also take in Dumfries, Moffat, Dalmellington and Crawfordjohn.

She said Mr Bellamy would be available to answer questions and could also be talking about the benefits of using low energy lightbulbs.

GLARE (Galloway Landscape and Renewable Energy) hope to promote forms of renewable energy other than windfarms to local communities and individual households.

They hope that local people will act on government-led incentives to install sustainable forms of renewable energy like photovoltaic arrays, which create energy from daylight.

GLARE is holding an information and ‘question the experts’ coffee morning at Dalry Town Hall on February 12 from 10am.

There will be displays and information about government grants for community groups and individual householders. Experts in the field will also be on hand to answer questions and advise on where to get further help.

Scroggie Hall Organic Farm, near Balmaclellan, will also be open to visitors from 2pm to 4pm from February 12 to 19.
 Wind farm drive damaging rural areas, claims energy foundation
By Andrew Taylor and Fiona Harvey
Published: February 9 2005 02:00 | Last updated: February 9 2005 02:00

Climate change policies that promote the development of onshore wind farms are threatening the security of future energy supplies as well as damaging the countryside, the government was warned yesterday.

The Renewable Energy Foundation, which has television presenter Noel Edmonds as its president, said over-reliance on electricity generated from wind, which might not blow when power was needed, would "fail to produce cost effective reductions to greenhouse emissions".

Denmark and Germany had invested heavily in wind farms but the random nature of wind meant that expensive, dirty, back-up fossil fuel power stations were required, said the REF. The electricity grids, which were required to ensure there was enough power to meet de-mand, had also come under strain in both countries.

Campbell Dunford, REF's chief executive, said Wolfgang Clement, Germany's economic minister, had ad-mitted: "The German people can't afford randomly intermittent renewables on a grand scale."

He called for British government incentives to encourage renewable energy to be over-hauled to place greater emphasis on other green energy technologies such as tidal and wave power and bio-fuels.

Mr Edmonds, who has opposed wind farm developments close to his Devon home, said onshore schemes were "damaging to rural areas and vulnerable rural populations" and were not delivering secure, reliable, economic and sustainable power promised in the government's energy white paper. However, Margaret Beckett, environment minister, in a speech to the think-tank Demos, said Britain's strength in wind power could help it take a lead in the emerging wave and solar energy industries.

The government has calculated 8,000 people are employed in the renewable energy sector and that renewable energy targets could generate more than 30,000 new jobs by 2020.

Mrs Beckett said the environment was a third strand of Labour's policy, after social justice and economic growth, which were priorities for the party's first two terms in office.

A third term of government would see a focus on "a new localism" - which would allow communities to improve the environmental quality of their immediate neighbourhoods - as well as global leadership on environmental issues.


 Wind farm could stir up trouble for sea ducks

Feb 9 2005

Village Visiter


AROUND 50,000 scoters or sea ducks spend the winter in the shallow waters off the Lancashire coast. Like much marine life, their future is uncertain.

Tim Melling, RSPB conservation officer, said: "A proposal to create a large wind farm on Shell Flat in Liverpool Bay spells trouble for this duck. The likelihood is, the construction and operation of wind turbines and increase in boat traffic in the scoters' feeding grounds will drive the birds away from their winter stronghold.

"Human activity, such as this, has a far- reaching impact. Transport, fishing, extraction industries, power generation and recreation all put increasing pressure on fragile ecosystems and our marine species and habitats enjoy little legal protection."

The RSPB, with other environmental organisations, is calling for legislation for better protection.

The RSPB wants people to sign a postcard for the Prime Minister or add their name to a petition available from RSPB reserves and centres such as Marshside, near Southport, and the 'Aren't birds brilliant!' scheme on Southport Pier.

An online petition is also available, log on to

* In support of the campaign, Big Sea Watch events have been organised to show the wealth of bird life living off the North West's coasts and estuaries, including on Saturday, February 12, 1pm to 4 pm, a wader watch from Southport Pier.





SIR - With reference to Professor Peter Cobbold's dismissal of wind power by comparing the output of a 2MW wind turbine with 30 diesel cars cruising along the motorway; (Letters, February 3).

Apart from the fact that the imperative of mitigating global warming means we need to vigorously pursue both renewable energy generation and energy efficiency, a more realistic comparison is that the annual CO savings from a 2MW wind turbine (compared to generation from coal) is equivalent to a family diesel car, rated at 180grams of CO emissions per kilometre, travelling some 27 million kilometres in a year - or to follow Prof Cobbold's analogy, 30 diesel cars driving continuously at 100km/hr for a whole year!


Minister for Economic Development and Transport, Welsh Assembly Government

SIR - A recently leaked 490-page report on wind farm growth in Germany commissioned by the German Government has been sent back to be edited because they didn't like what it concluded.

It concluded that German energy costs would rise from £1bn to £3.7bn per annum, if Germany goes ahead with its plans to double its number of wind turbines.

The research also found that the cutting of greenhouse gas pollution (the supposed main reason for wind farms) could be almost matched by installing modern filters at operating fossil-fuel power plants.

I again ask why the Welsh Assembly is blindly following the mantra of "wind farms are the only viable source of renewable energy". Listen to the scientists - they don't work! If I need legal advice I speak to a solicitor, I wouldn't dream of asking someone from another profession.

The Conservatives have promised a referendum on the continued existence of the Welsh Assembly, and I for one will break the habit of a life time and vote for them.

The Welsh Assembly is now full of self importance and does not listen to the views of people living here - get rid of them.


Penylan Avenue Porthcawl

SIR - Helen Baker, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgend, says that "Farmers will tell you that over- subsidising is the road to ruin" in her letter criticising the subsidising of wind power (Letters, February 3).

Can Ms Baker, therefore, guarantee that if the Conservatives win the next election they will immediately end the billions of pounds worth of subsidies paid to the aviation industry, arms manufacturers and British Nuclear Fuel?

Somehow, I think not.


Gwent Green Party, Drybridge Street, Monmouth


 £28m wind farm application

A PLANNING application has been submitted to Angus Council for a £28 million, 19-turbine wind farm at Montreathmont Moor.

The proposal is located within a coniferous forest, approximately four kilometres north of Friockheim and five kilometres south of Brechin, on land owned by Southesk Estates.

The wind turbines will be 800 metres from the nearest residential property. Each turbine’s hub would be 80 metres high with 40 metre long blades giving a 120 metre maximum height to the blade tip.

Objectors point out that the wind farm may have a significant visual impact from as far away as Montrose where it would be clearly seen on the skyline when looking west across the Basin nature reserve.

The proposal is a joint venture between Wind Prospect and Ridgewind details of which were initially presented to local residents in August last year while environmental studies for the site were under way.

Ronnie Young, secretary of Aberlemno Community Council, in whose area much of the wind farm would be built, said the proposals had received a mixed response.

“People living within close range of it are very anti and those out of sight are fairly indifferent,” he said.

Mr Young said that the turbines would have the greatest visual impact looking from the east.

“They will be almost 400 feet high and will be clearly visible on a sight-line from Montrose across the Basin nature reserve. People from Montrose may not have realised this. I also wonder how the wind farm will affect the thousands of birds that fly into the Basin for the winter.”

Farmer James Hair, Ardovie, whose land will be dominated by the wind farm said the proposals would require a large amount of tree felling and construction work and he also has concerns about the impact on wildlife and its habitat.

“The proposed power station is to have 19 turbines at 393 feet high with a rotor diameter of 262 feet,” he said.

“These turbines will actually be 30 feet higher than the Forth railway bridge. They would be an industrial feature in a beautiful rural environment and dominate the skyline in much of our county.”

Colin Williams, development manager for the project, said the environmental impact of the wind farm has been carefully analysed and conclusions indicated that the Montreathmont site was a suitable location.

He claimed the 19 turbine wind farm would make a positive contribution towards the fight against climate change and represent a significant step towards a more sustainable future. The wind farm would provide enough clean, green energy to meet the equivalent needs of over 21,000 homes.

“The development will benefit the environment and we hope there will be a strong sense of local ownership for the project through a unique opportunity to purchase shares in the wind farm,” he said.

“The community will also have access to a trust fund, which will be made available for local projects and initiatives.”

There is presently a single grid connected renewable energy plant in Angus at the Restenneth landfill site near Forfar. The plant’s capacity is 1.1 megawatts of electricity. The capacity of the Montreathmont Moor development will be 38 megawatts.

Angus Council Local Plan has acknowledged that wind farms have the potential to cause significant visual impact over long distances.

The plan states that the open, exposed character of the highland and coast areas of the district is highly sensitive. Proposals for large scale wind energy development will not normally be permitted in these areas.

Hills, dips and large areas of commercial forestry within the lowland area, between the highland and coast, have more potential to accommodate wind energy developments.

Proposals for small scale development within the highland and coast areas and for large scale development in the lowland/hill area will require to demonstrate that a site search has been undertaken and that no suitable less sensitive location is available.


 Risk warning over Fintry wind project


GREEN energy supporters have warned that a village’s plan to join in a windfarm project is risky.

Scottish Renewables sent a briefing document called ‘Wind Energy 2005’ to all MSPs.

The paper refers to Fintry’s attempt to sponsor its own wind turbine at a proposed local windfarm.

It adds: “Some communities, like the Isle of Gigha, have installed second-hand turbines and as well as providing themselves with electricity are able to export on to the grid and earn the island’s trust thousands of pounds every year.

“Others, like Fintry Community Council, are trying to ‘piggy-back’ an existing proposal by adding their own turbine to a project.

“Whilst a risky and time-consuming approach, Fintry, if successful, can expect to earn significant sums every year and help the community tackle significant fuel poverty in the area.”

Fintry Renewable Energy Enterprise wants to sponsor a turbine in the proposed windfarm at Carron Valley to provide the community with free electricity.

RDC (Scotland) Ltd has applied to create a 14-turbine wind farm at Harthill.



Pylon corridor proposal is 'least worst option'  

THE Cairngorms National Park Authority is again calling for information on the proposal to run a £200 million line of pylons through the park.

Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE) wants to construct a 400,000 volt electricity transmission line from Beauly to Denny, near Stirling.

The company says that the line is necessary to help meet targets from the generation of electricity from renewable sources. Much of the supply will be generated in the Highlands and Islands.

The proposal is for the line, consisting of 60metre pylons, to cut through the national park near Dalwhinnie. They would be nearly twice as high as those at the gateway to the park at Drumochter.

Following initial plans revealed at the end of 2003, SSE drew up a revised route with three options through Badenoch.

But at their meeting on Friday in Ballater, the board heard that SSE had now asked for their comments on an altered path.

It takes the transmission line down Glen Shirra to just east of Kinloch Laggan. From there it crosses the A86 south of Inverpattack Lodge and rejoins the existing route further south.

SSE hopes to lodge a formal planning application for a finalised line in the next few months.

The issue of putting the cables underground is also being investigated, with the national park authority, Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage commissioning an independent study into the issue.

A report looking at the technical options and economical implications of undergrounding is due to be published in the next two weeks.

Don McKee, the national park's head of planning and development control, said that while the preferred option was that the line did not cross the park, the existing pylon corridor was regarded as the "least worst option" in relation to developing wild land.

He added: "On paper, the revised route via Glen Shirra would appear to avoid the specific cultural and landscape problems which were caused by the previous route around Dun da Lamh Fort and Strathmashie, but we cannot fully comment without more detailed information on route visualisation and assessment of the impacts on the environment, landscape and local communities.

"The issue of the line passing through a national park is one which is of significance to the whole nation and decisions cannot be taken lightly; equally, mitigation measures should be the highest priority to alleviate the impacts on communities, the environment and the landscape."

In August last year the park authority had requested more information, including photomontages of how the 60-metre high pylons would impact on the landscape.

The board also felt that it would be selfdefeating to allow such a massive construction when they were in the process of banning largescale renewable energy schemes such as wind farms from the park.

A spokesman for SSE this week refused to comment on the altered route and told the 'Strathy' that a proposed path would be revealed soon.

"We are finishing off work done since our second consultation ended last August. We are still examining route options but do not have one yet.

"A final route will be published in a few week's time. It will be submitted for planning consent and a further consultation will take place as part of the planning process."



 UK Emissions Policy not working

A report, today by the environmental thinktanks, the Green Alliance and the Institute for Environmental Policy, suggests that the Government's own climate change policy is not working.

Despite pledging that climate change is the single most important issue facing the global community, and that this will be a key priority for the UK's Presidency of the EU and the G8, Mr Blair has failed to deliver any reduction in carbon emissions. They have risen in four of the six years from 1997–2003 compared with a 7.3 per cent reduction under Conservative policies between 1990-1997. Commenting the Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Tim Yeo said:

"Under Labour, Britain has one of the worst environmental records in Europe. They have blocked targets to improve energy efficiency, neglected renewable energy in their obsession with wind farms, while Government delay has led to British business missing out on the first three months of the EU carbon emissions trading scheme.

"Conservatives have an excellent environmental record. We would strengthen and expand emissions trading, phase out Hydrofluorocarbons, establish a much wider portfolio of renewables and create more incentives to improve domestic and commercial energy efficiency. We would also focus on greener cars and fuels and would seek to include aviation within emissions trading."

Tim Yeo MP


 Market reform to slash business electricity bills


SCOTTISH businesses are to see electricity bills slashed as part of an imminent shake-up of the UK energy market - cuts that will come at the expense of firms in the south-east of England.

The Scotsman understands that energy regulator Ofgem will announce new rules to cut power bills by up to 11 per cent in the north of Scotland, with more modest discounts to be introduced in the central belt.

The cuts will come at the expense of companies in London and the south-east, which will have to pay more for their power. The regulator is working with National Grid on a transmission charge system that rewards firms located close to remote power supplies, such as hydro and wind resources in Scotland.

The changes will pave the way for the introduction of BETTA - an enlarged energy market that crosses the whole of the UK - which is due to be launched in April after years of planning.

The boost for Scottish firms will come on top of an expected easing of business and domestic bills as a result of BETTA, which is being introduced partly to break the stranglehold of ScottishPower and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE).

The new market will allow rival companies to target Scottish households more easily. A spokesman for Powergen said last night that "Scottish customers could do more in terms of switching: we would welcome those with open arms".

Ofgem and National Grid are set to agree the new transmission charges at the end of the month. Bills will come down most in the north of Scotland, as it is expensive to transport power from remote sources to other parts of the UK.

Household customers will also benefit from the cuts, although transmission charges make up only about 3 per cent of the domestic bill, meaning any price cuts will have a marginal difference.

In contrast, transmission costs can make anything up to 40 per cent of business energy bills. This is because they do not use local distribution networks, which take up much of the costs for consumers.

A downside to the move is that remotely-based power companies such as windfarm operators will have to pay more to access the national grid, although industry insiders argued that government subsidies for renewable energy - currently totalling £500 million a year - would still allow them to make a substantial return.

Renewable generators are also intended to be another beneficiary of BETTA, as it will allow smaller companies to supply power to England and Wales without a huge charge to cross the Border. The opening of the UK market is dependent on increasing the capacity of distribution networks. ScottishPower and SSE have already been given the green light to invest £560m on the upgrades, a cost that can be passed on to customers and other suppliers.

But Ofgem has been eager to warn domestic customers that the changes in the market will not be enough to off-set controversial price rises in electricity and gas, which has seen all suppliers increase bills.

Those rises, which in the case of Scottish Gas totalled more than 18 per cent last year, are based on the fluctuating cost of wholesale power, which is in turn tied to the price of oil.
 Tories' wind of change

SURELY a wind-up, but it looks as if the Tories are finally turning green as they raise the prospect of a wind farm on Salisbury Crags.

Murdo Fraser (left) has put down a motion of support at Holyrood saying it makes sense to have wind farms near to urban centres where the most power is used.

Murdo also looks forward to seeing proposals "for the construction of wind turbines on the roofs of prominent Edinburgh buildings such as Edinburgh Castle, St Giles’, the Balmoral Hotel and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and believes that the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body should investigate the possibility of erecting 125-metre-high turbines on the roof of the Holyrood building". Aye, with Jack McConnell on top of it.

And here were we thinking Murdo was full of hot air.
 Resolution makes a splash

Feb 8 2005

By Evening Gazette


Wind Farm installation vessel The Resolution has sailed from Teesside into London.


The £53m ship is owned by Middlesbrough-based Marine Projects International and is the world's only vessel purpose-built for the installation of offshore wind turbines.

The ship is in the capital to take part in a British Wind Energy Association conference to demonstrate its capabilities to the association's members, environmentalists, MPs and senior government officials.

Its unusual shape comes from the six 130m legs which, once on site, jacks the vessel out of the water and provides a stable working platform.

The vessel will spend five days on the Thames before returning to Teesside at the weekend.

The trip to London comes as MPI closes in on a major contract to install 30 wind turbines off the Cumbrian coast at Barrow.

The Evening Gazette reported yesterday that trade press reports claimed the Teesside firm had won the contract worth an estimated £15m to £20m.

MPI declined to confirm or deny the reports and Kellogg, Brown and Root, which is awarding the contract, denied it had made a decision.


 Hilltop site set for turbines

Feb 9 2005


ANOTHER major wind farm scheme is expected to clear its first hurdle this week.

And that will mean 14 massive turbines on a site just over five miles north west of Moniaive.

The turbines, which will stand more than 300 feet to the tip of the blades, are likely to be seen from as far as ten miles away.

CRE Energy Ltd is also planning a control building and a 60-metre meteorological mast.

The hilltop site straddles the Nithsdale and Stewartry boundary.

Members of both area committees will be asked on Friday to give the go-ahead for the plans.

The conjoined meeting will be told the turbines are to be built on a horseshoe ridge made up by Wether Hill, an unnamed hill, Cornharrow Hill and Greengair.

The 286 hectare site, which will be approached through a conifer plantation along a kilometre of new road, is grass moorland and home to sheep and cattle.

The wind farm will connect underground to the local distribution system at Penpont roughly 14 kilometres east. From there electricity will join the national grid.

The company originally wanted 30 turbines on the site but, partly because it borders the Thornhill Uplands Regional Scenic Area, that has been reduced to 14.

The council’s landscape architect warns the boundary needs “careful interpretation”.

But Phillip Harris goes on: “Dumfries and Galloway will be expected to take its share of wind farms and there are not sufficient ‘well hidden’ sites within the region, such as Windy Standard, to accommodate its fair share without some of them being widely visible or introducing significant adverse impacts.

“This is a well designed proposal that fits reasonably well within the landscape.”

CRE Energy and the Royal Society for the Protection of birds have agreed to monitor the impact on peregrine falcons and black grouse

There are two objections from Mr and Mrs M Crump of Auchenstroan, Moniaive, and Mr I S Fairbairn form Auldgirth centering on visual and noise impacts.

l World famous conservationist and outspoken wind farm critic David Bellamy will speak at a public meeting in Dumfries on Friday.

It’s organised by the pressure group Trees Not Turbines, Save Ae Forest.

On Saturday morning he will be at a coffee morning at St John’s Town of Dalry Town Hall when he will talk on how householders and small communities can make their contribution to combating climate change and saving money.

The coffee morning has been arranged by GLARE (Galloway Landscape And Renewable Energy).





Delays 'cost wind farm industry'

Wind farm developers claim Scotland could be losing out on hundreds of jobs because of planning hold-ups.

They say that the creation of a domestic turbine manufacturing industry is being held back by delays and inquiries into wind farm projects.

They believe the lack of manufacturing orders caused by the hold-ups has stopped the development of the sector.

But anti-wind farm campaigners have argued that the companies' jobs bonanza claims are unfounded.

The international firm Renewable Energy Systems is angry it took an inquiry and a year-and-a-half delay before it got the go-ahead for a wind farm in Morayshire.

It said the hold-up meant it could not give the contract to build the turbines it needed to Scottish firms, putting an end to the possible creation of any jobs.

It said that by the time the project was passed last week its key domestic suppliers had either gone bust or moved away from manufacturing for the sector.

The company's Glasgow-based development manager Ray Hunter said: "Scotland certainly has enviable renewable resource - the best in Europe.

"But what we find in other countries is that the exploitation of the resource is mirrored by the creation of an industry.

Planning reforms

"That doesn't seem to be to the same degree in Scotland.

"We need a planning system which gives due credence to those projects which specifically try to build national and local manufacturing benefit as well.

"At the moment that is the missing element."

Mr Hunter said if potential manufacturing pay-offs were worked into the planning process then this would encourage the growth of the sector and attract companies towards it as it would guarantee them a market demand to supply.

The Scottish Executive said proposed changes to the planning system could aid this process.

Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace said: "It's important that the planning process takes into account a range of issues.

"We all know that whenever there is a proposal for a wind farm its usually generates a considerable amount of controversy.

"Local opinion is important, as indeed are environmental considerations as well as the economic benefits that can come to an area.

European competition

"What we must try and ensure is that we do have a planning system that is more efficient and more streamlined and doesn't have the kind of delays that people have had to put up with for too long."

The anti-wind farm campaigners The Protect Rural Scotland Party (PRSP) said the industry had only created a few hundred jobs so far and any new companies would have to compete against already well-established European competition.

Bob Graham, the founder of PRSP, said: "We strongly feel that because the market is already dominated by Denmark and Germany there is little chance of this industry being developed to a sufficient level in Scotland."


 Cambrian cheer

Feb 9 2005

By David Jones, Daily Post


WALES Office Minister Don Touhig gave his backing to a leading renewables energy company on a visit to Gwynedd yesterday.

Mr Touhig said Cambrian Caledonia had a major contribution to make in ensuring the UK's energy needs were met in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

The company makes giant windfarm towers at its manufacturing sites at Bangor and on the Isle of Lewis.

The business, formerly Cambrian Engineering, went into administration because of a dip in orders last year but was acquired and renamed Cambrian Caledonian by a Scottish energy firm.

Mr Touhig said he appreciated wind-farms had environmental and other issues to be addressed, but added: "We have to recognise that windfarms will be making an important contribution to our energy needs. Wales Secretary Peter Hain, in particular, is a strong advocate of renewables, and I sit on a Cabinet committee dealing with this issue.

"Cambrian Caledonia has secured the jobs of 55 employees at its base at Llandygai Industrial Estate, Bangor. This is a company with potential at the cutting edge of the industry. It is involved in a number of projects and its orderbook is looking hopeful."

Mr Touhig, who also visited Anglesey firms Glanbia Cheese and Cymru Country Chickens, said he sensed a greater self-confidence and "can-do" culture in the area's economy.

He said: "Glanbia Cheese has a workforce of some 175 at Llangefni and has made a multi-million pound investment in its plant there. Its mozzarella cheese for pizzas supplies customers not only in the UK but further afield in Europe.

"Cymru Country Chickens, which is part of the Grampian Country Food Group, is a major employer on Anglesey with about 1,000 staff at its premises in Llangefni and Gaerwen. Grampian started up with just 50 employees in Scotland in 1980 and has since grown to become one of the UK's leading food processors."