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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Eishken 13 turbine application

Some of the other postings are being distracted by those who want to know exactly what I think about the recent approval of the application by the Comhairle of a revised and smaller application for Eishken.

As many people will know, the full application is subject to a Public Local Inquiry ordered by the Government, but the new smaller application is below the 50Mw limit to allow a decision to be taken by the Comhairle.

I'm obviously being prodded with some sharp sticks to make my view known, as some people have lots to say, and hence I have opened this up for comment.

My view is broken into a few segments, some contradictory, which I think probably is typical of the (silent) majority of people in the islands.

I am writing this as someone with a great interest in the subject, but without sight of the detail of the application.

Is it proper for the Comhairle to consider this application?
Yes, of course it is. In fact, the planning authority would probably be guilty of maladministration if it failed to consider a valid application within a reasonable timescale.

Should BMP be able to lodge what are effectively multiple applications for the same scheme?
They can, under the current legislative framework. But is it right? I don't think so, but the responsibility for the legislative framework lies with the Government.
This needs to be addressed by the local plan, and by national planning guidelines, and it may be that approval of a subset application (for want of a better phrase) should preclude some further applications to prevent 'Approval Creep'.

Is there a conflict between the PLI and the new application?
Probably, but that can be resolved by the PLI which might overrule the Comhairle decision.

What is the course of action for objectors?
Ignore the Comhairle decision and focus on the PLI and Government.

Will this end in Court?
Possibly, but only if the objectors want to burn their fivers in full public view.

Summary
You might consider that the law may be right or may be wrong, but the Comhairle are following it. If they have acted rationally (as they appear to have done) then they are safe from challenge. To suggest otherwise is plain stupid, and in my view is aiming at completely the wrong target.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am told that the issue is that CNES have said that Pairc will not go ahead in their appraisal of the 13 tubines, so in cumulative terms they have omitted to consider it.

However if you recall the same CNES voted for a large windfarm at Pairc.

CNES - game over.

Jumping the gun and some fiddling is clearly involved.

Captain Swing said...

I’m not surprised that there are so many questions raised over the legitimacy of the application for a smaller wind farm that can be determined by the Comhairle.

Most peoples involvement with the planning process is usually related to fairly straightforward domestic applications, where an application is refused or granted depending on the circumstances of the application. Joe Public would not normally consider putting in several applications, for the same plot of land, in the hope that one of them gets granted, and then having got consent, they then start applying for extensions etc to achieve what they wanted in the first place. I’m sure that any Planning Authority would take a dim view of any attempt like that described to get around the planning process. I’m sure it does happen though.

I wonder what would have happened if say Tesco’s wanted to build a new superstore on the island and the application was sent to a Public Enquiry. Subsequently Tesco’s put in an application for essentially a corner store on the same site. Would the Comhairle have taken the same approach as they have done with the Eishken one or would they have come up with excuses as to why they could not approve before the Public Enquiry reports. In other words are they so keen to see Turbines turning anywhere on the islands that they will approve anything even though the law may be contentious.

Does this now mean that LWP can apply for 10 smaller Wind Farms on the Barvas Moor all of which can be determined by the Comhairle?

Captain Swing said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angus said...

Does this now mean that LWP can apply for 10 smaller Wind Farms on the Barvas Moor all of which can be determined by the Comhairle?

Yes, in theory, which is where my concerns over the consideration of cumulative impact arise. It was considered in the applications I was involved with, but with the potential for lots of 'subset' applications coming in, then this will make the position more complex.

It will not improve public scrutiny or public trust if there are in effect two different planning processes at work.

(The above deletion is of a duplicate posting by Cpt Swing)

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15 talks of fixing in CnES. I have just heard that having fixed a new £70K job for the Head of tech services they have now restricted the advert for his job to internal. presumably to fix a nice job for some other big cheese in tech services.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to wander off the subject somewhat, but could someone enlighten me as to whether a windmill could be successfully decommissioned at the end of its useful life?

Newcomer to the debate.

Anonymous said...

Angus
your summary is bang on the button.
Until the Gov that rejects the plans and goes for P.I.s changes the law, developers are at liberty to amend and resubmit plans under 50MW.

Angus said...

Anon 11:06. It is one of the planning conditions that a removal and restoration plan is completed and agreed before permission is granted. Further, a restoration bond must be put in place to cover these costs.

So the answer is yes, they can and will be removed and the site restored.

Anonymous said...

Not quite Angus. Peat takes 3000 years to form so you can't just replace it, you cant import it, you cant buy it, you can't make it

History shows that whne a site is developed it stays developed. Add to that, as you know, that after 25 years the developer has an option to keep it going.

so it is not as simple as dismantling them and it is all hunky dory.

PS: the roads are to be there for ever

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12.24. Is it of critical importance that when something is removed from somewhere, it has to be replaced on a like for like basis. Surely this is taking decommisioning to the nth degree. Unnecessary surely.

Anonymous said...

unnecessary - not for me to say - but that is the way it works

otherwise what do you replace it with. Concrete? turf?

Anonymous said...

http://www.mwtlewis.org.uk/

Just looked at the MWT website. Nothing definate about decommisioning there, but a veritable vault of information.

those crofters are clearly busy in their sheilings in the hours of darkness

Anonymous said...

PS: the roads are to be there for ever

And the problem with having lovely, new safe roads is??

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.24, your surely not suggesting it is beyond the wit of man to backfill a hole in the ground.

Anonymous said...

those crofters are clearly busy in their sheilings in the hours of darkness

I heard the sheep got bored so they had to find something else to do.

Captain Swing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Captain Swing said...

PS: the roads are to be there for ever

And the problem with having lovely, new safe roads is??

Where oh where to some people hide their brains?

Errr - these roads are the service roads to the Turbines, going nowhere, but nice and safe for the Sheep and Deer if there are any left around by that time.

Captain Swing said...

anon 3.29

Clearly the Sheep are more intelligent than some of the posters to this Blog. I shan't mention any names of course but for the sake of argument I'll call then anonymous

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness the wise and sage like captain swing is there to correct us all on where we are going wrong. I’m beginning to see the light, where’s my begging bowl?

eyoop said...

It's magic observing NuLabourites on the back foot, there's nowt more entertaining.

Anyway, the roads leading round in semi-circles to, round and away somewhere or other, away and back to the turbines, and maybe even back round again, will be handy for boy racers on quads, but not much else. And neither will they be roads. They'll be very wide dirt tracks with little or no maintenance.

Anonymous said...

eyoop said:

They'll be very wide dirt tracks with little or no maintenance.

Just what they call the main roads at the moment!