NEW MP BACKS WIND TUR­BINE CAM­PAIGN­ERS

Res­i­dents given ma­jor boost in battle

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Kenny Smith

MP Mar­garet Ferrier has called for a halt to plans to erect a wind tur­bine in Cam­bus­lang.

The Re­former re­vealed ear­lier this year that res­i­dents of the Loa­nend and Flem­ing­ton Farm cot­tages, near Half­way, were un­happy, af­ter the Healthy ‘n’ Happy com­mu­nity devel­op­ment trust pro­posed erect­ing a 76m industrial wind tur­bine mear their homes.

The char­ity want to use the tur­bine to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity, with the pro­ceeds be­ing used to raise money for or­gan­i­sa­tions in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

But the area’s new SNP MP has backed the com­mu­nity in their fight.

The first step of the project, the erec­tion of a 50m wind mast to check the lo­ca­tion will pro­vide suf­fi­cient wind, is be­ing con­sid­ered by South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee next Tues­day, June 9.

Af­ter meet­ing with a group of the con­cerned res­i­dents, MP Ms Ferrier said: “Whilst sup­port­ive of re­new­able en­ergy, I share many of the lo­cal res­i­dents’ con­cerns.

“Healthy ‘n’ Happy need to halt their plans in or­der to hold a proper con­sul­ta­tion. This project has be­come con­tentious through lack of en­gage­ment to reach a lo­cal con­sen­sus. The trust may need to re-eval­u­ate their choice of lo­ca­tion.”

How­ever, Jane Churchill, as­sis­tant direc­tor at Healthy ‘n’ Happy, said the char­ity had car­ried out a full con­sul­ta­tion (see box­out on page six).

She said: “Healthy ‘n’ Happy com­mu­nity devel­op­ment trust can con­firm that it has car­ried out ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tions, over and above what is re­quired for this size of devel­op­ment.

“H’n’H re­cently con­tacted Mar­garet to congratulate her on her elec­tion and in­vite her to meet with us. Our of­fer of a meet­ing still stands and we would ld be very happy to meet in or­der rder to talk through this pro­posal osal and share the re­sults of th­ese ese con­sul­ta­tions.”

Thehe area’s Labour MSP Jame­ses Kelly has also spo­ken with res­i­dents.

He e said: “I have met with Loa­nend­nend Cottage res­i­dents to dis­cus­sis­cuss the pro­posed windd tur­bine. The pro­posal is causing­ing anx­i­ety be­cause of its close e prox­im­ity to the cot­tages. Hav­ingng looked at the site the con­cerned­erned I can see why that is thee case.

“The ob­jec­tive of Healthy ‘n’ Hap­pyappy is not un­rea­son­able is try­ing ying to es­tab­lish a wind tur­bineine which will sup­port the en­vi­ron­ment and gen­er­a­tee rate a fu­ture in­come.me. It would be

best if both par­ties came to an ar­range­ment and that found an al­ter­na­tive site for the wind tur­bine.”

Li­isa Hep­worth, rep­re­sent­ing the com­mu­nity group against the Flem­ing­ton wind tur­bine, said: “We don’t be­lieve this wind mast can be looked at in iso­la­tion of the fact that it is a pre­cur­sor to a large 76m industrial wind tur­bine and hope that this fact can be taken into ac­count by the plan­ning com­mit­tee.

“This ar­gu­ment has been used in High­land Coun­cil and re­cently two ap­pli­ca­tions for wind masts were turned down due to the cu­mu­la­tive vis­ual im­pact.

“Our com­mu­nity is not con­fi­dent the ap­pli­ca­tion for the wind mast will be turned down as South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have never turned one down yet, but they have never had so many in­di­vid­ual ob­jec­tions to wind masts so we can only hope.”

Over 450 in­di­vid­ual let­ters, emails and on line ob­jec­tions sub­mit­ted through a pe­ti­tion re­flects the strength of feel­ing of the Cam­bus­lang East and Blan­tyre com­mu­ni­ties against this wind­tur­bine.

Op­po­si­tion to the pro­posal is grow­ing, with res­i­dents in Blan­tyre voic­ing their op­po­si­tion to the pro­posal, af­ter they learned of the tur­bine plan, and 290 ob­jec­tions have been sub­mit­ted from Blan­tyre.

The ob­jec­tors say this is in stark con­trast to the 17 peo­ple who stated they sup­ported the pro­posal fol­low­ing Healthy ‘n’ Happy’s public com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion in Half­way li­brary at the end of Fe­bru­ary.

Li­isa con­tin­ued: “The pro­posal to build the industrial tur­bine so close to com­mu­ni­ties has caused a lot of con­cern on so many grounds from dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties.

“The strength of feel­ing against this pro­posal is clearly re­flected in the num­ber of ob­jec­tions that have now been sub­mit­ted to the plan­ning depart­ment at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil.

“We are very dis­ap­pointed that the char­ity who want to build this tur­bine are not lis­ten­ing to our con­cerns”

They have pointed to health con­cerns as a re­sult of the tur­bine, the neg­a­tive im­pact on the value of their prop­er­ties by hav­ing a noisy tur­bine so close, and their fear that one tur­bine could re­sult in the site be­ing turned into a wind­farm, but feel their con­cerns have been dis­missed.

Li­isa con­tin­ued: “We find it in­cred­i­ble that a char­ity so con­cerned about be­ing healthy and happy have ig­nored the in­for­ma­tion we have for­warded to them and our real con­cerns. We are dev­as­tated at their lack of em­pa­thy and un­der­stand­ing. This is a char­ity whose vi­sion is to make all of Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen the hap­pi­est and health­i­est place to live.

“We have met our lo­cal coun­cil­lors, our new MP Mar­garet Ferrier and our MSP James Kelly to make them aware of our con­cerns and they are all now en­gaged with us, lis­ten­ing to our con­cerns, in­ves­ti­gat­ing mat­ters and help­ing us. They have all stated that this is not the right place for this wind tur­bine. Their en­gage­ment has been so ap­pre­ci­ated and such a re­lief to our com­mu­nity.”

An ill wind Li­isa Hep­worth has hit out at plans to erect a wind tur­bine

Back­ing Mar­garet Ferrier MP

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