To get the gain, suf­fer the pain

The Galloway News - - GALLOW@Y VIEW - Stephen T Davie Rose Cot­tage Dalry

Sir – Mr Cliff Robert­son ob­vi­ously does not un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tion here in the Glenkens.

There is a large sec­tion of the com­mu­nity who do not want any more wind­farms to be built re­gard­less of the “com­pen­sa­tion” or “bribe” (de­pend­ing on one’s point of view) be­cause they are ru­in­ing the beau­ti­ful vis­ual amenity of the area.

Those who do want them can­not de­cide amongst them­selves who should ad­min­is­ter this money. The Glenkens and District Trust, which should have been the im­par­tial ad­min­is­tra­tor of the funds, seems to be un­able to be im­par­tial, so much so that Blue En­ergy, who built Black­craig wind­farm, set up their own oper­a­tion to de­cide where the money should go.

But now, even this seems to be in jeop­ardy, as they have sold the wind­farm on and there is cer­tainly no guar­an­tee that the new own­ers will pay any­thing.

Those of us who are against more tur­bines find our­selves hav­ing to ac­cept this “gain” (if any) as com­pen­sa­tion for 25 years of dis­rup­tion to the pop­u­la­tion and tourism in the area.

Some res­i­dents are al­ready threat­en­ing to leave if the de­vel­op­ments con­tinue, which is com­pletely op­po­site to re­sult that was hoped for when the coun­cil, in its wis­dom, tried (and suc­ceeded) to bring peo­ple in by re­lax­ing the plan­ning re­stric­tions for build­ing in the coun­try­side some years ago.

Where we are now is that if all the presently pro­posed wind­farms are al­lowed, there will be a 20-mile wall of tur­bines from near Dalmelling­ton to Black­craig.

Since there is no plan­ning strategy for this, de­vel­op­ers can treat each scheme in iso­la­tion so that their lit­er­a­ture to an out­sider comes across as very rea­son­able. One wind­farm might per­haps be wel­comed, though I per­son­ally be­lieve they should all be placed off­shore where their vis­ual im­pact is min­imised.

The very lat­est pro­posal is for three more schemes of tur­bines (one scheme has been re­duced – cyn­i­cally – from 15 tur­bines to 14) which will be 149.5 me­tres tall. This is taller than the Great Pyra­mid of Giza in Egypt (which is 146 me­tres).

In ad­di­tion, what many peo­ple miss is that dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase, many thou­sands of tons of con­crete have to be man­u­fac­tured for the bases (how green is that?), many tons of stone and gravel have to be trans­ported over many miles on very in­ad­e­quate roads (how green is that?) and the re­sult is that the very small coun­try roads have to be up­graded in or­der to trans­port mas­sive com­po­nents to very in­ac­ces­si­ble places (how green is that?).

It is true that our plan­ners and the coun­cil­lors do some­times re­ject ap­pli­ca­tions for var­i­ous rea­sons and re­cently we have seen this hap­pen.

How­ever, of­ten on ap­peal to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment the de­vel­op­ers are al­lowed to pro­ceed, the de­ci­sion to over-rule the lo­cal demo­cratic de­ci­sion be­ing made by one man in Ed­in­burgh. What has hap­pened to our demo­cratic sys­tem of gov­ern­ment?

To sum up, Mr Robert­son, if you want the gain then you have to suf­fer the pain, I’m afraid.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.