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

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wind farm refused

The Stornoway Gazette seem to have this story ahead of anyone else, including the Government website; so perhaps an embargo has been breached.

If this is true, then I am very disappointed; and no number of bland and meaningless promises from the Government about its intentions for the Islands will fill the huge economic gap.

If the area is now sterilised, and no economic development is allowed in that area, then at least we are clear about the position; but I fail to understand how the ruling can be extended from the SPA to the Stornoway Trust land, unless there is a simple determination to refuse the application, regardless.

If this is the case, then we now need to move forward with whatever ideas we can muster to generate income to fill the void; but that is going to prove to be an enormous challenge.

Will it all end here? I suspect not. I wouldn't be surprised to see LWP challenge the decision in the Courts, but irrespective of this, the other options must be explored quickly.

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Please see statement below on behalf of Lewis Wind Power.

“Lewis Wind Power is bitterly disappointed by the Scottish Government’s decision to reject our proposal for a wind farm on Lewis. Over the 6 years of this project, we have conducted extensive environmental and economic studies and designed the development around these findings. As a result, we believe we had put forward a detailed case showing the benefits of our proposal and the benefits it would bring to Lewis, the Highlands & Islands region and to Scotland. We also believe that during our discussions with the Government, we demonstrated that this proposal could have been approved without violating European law.

The local authority and all of Scotland’s major business organisations fully recognised the huge benefits that this proposal would have delivered. The economic benefits included the creation of around 400 local jobs, 680 jobs across Scotland, during the construction process, as well as providing much needed investment to the Arnish Yard to make it a global competitor for other projects. The proposed community ownership of up to 15% of the wind farm would also have provided sustained income to the local community to invest in further sustainable economic activity.

The wind farm would have contributed 650MW of renewable energy to help the fight against climate change and paved the way for an interconnector to the mainland to encourage more investment in other renewable technologies. Sadly all of this has been lost because of the Government decision which, we believe, represents a huge missed opportunity.

We will be considering the Government’s response in detail before deciding on our next move”

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The Government statement is here.



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11:03-- Oh! Joy and glad - I've just had the first loony on the phone. I think he was trying to gloat, but he makes so little sense at the best of times ....

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely devastating. MWT hang your heads in shame along with your sidekicks Alasdair Allan and Angus MacNeil.

Anonymous said...

Can the last person to leave please turn the lights off?Unbelievable commercial rates, Tesco, no development, fuel prices - what chance does any local business and employer have?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad sense has prevailed in that this oversized monstrosity has been rejected. I hope council and government will now cooperate towards a diversified, smaller scale, approach to renewable energy projects. These could bring more jobs and prosperity to the islands, in the long run, than are currently being given credit for.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:27
Yes but just think you can go for a walk on the Barvas Moor to marvel at the beauty.

(Tongue firmly in cheek)

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:27

Don't worry Tesco have made Englebrecht a firm offer for his fuel station (and 7 day licence) so its better priced groceries and fuel to come.

AND

Toad of Toad Hall will be well brassed off no wind farms and fuel competion too

Oh what a nice day it is - the sun will now shine on Lewis without the shadow of industrialisation and its turbines.

Anonymous said...

Good. Hopefully the Comhairle will realise that putting all ths islands economic eggs into one Lingerbay-sized basket is insane...

Now go for a diverse range of smaller scale initiatives. Wave and tidal (plenty of that) research and development, as well as photovoltaic, geothermal and biomass. Finish the broadband rollout and upgrade it for the whole islands to attract, and develop, skilled ICT and digital media employment and business opportunities. Invest in education and training opportunities - work with the UHI to provide a wide range of degree and master level courses so locals don't have to leave the islands to further their education. There is so much that could, and should, have been done to turn the Outer Hebrides into a prosperous and highly skilled economic zone.

Anonymous said...

That's a relief. The number of jobs that would have been created has been vastly overstated. Examination of other wind farms shows only a fraction of the quoted figures would have come about, and these would have invariably gone to new Eastern European labourers.

Anonymous said...

As 11.18 wish list shows its back to dreamland and handouts with the most highly skilled dole zone.
No jobs no reason to stay.

MadEddieH said...

and no one willing to put their name where their mouth is....pathetic

Anonymous said...

No doubt the dynamic duo of Allan and MacNeil have innovative new ideas up their sleeve for economic development in the islands now. They'll just be waiting for the right time to tell the rest of us...or there again, maybe they think it's best kept a secret, never to be divulged to minions like us. Who needs a local industry anyway? Keep pumping the local talent out of here to the mainland and we'll keep living on Government handouts. Brilliant!! But anyway, let's not forget the most important aspect of all this; at least the birds on the moor will be safe from all these rampaging rotor blades. Note this date in your diaries MWT, it's historic for the WI for all the wrong reasons and it may well come back to haunt us all in the very near future.

Anonymous said...

anon 1108 : you poor, poor, mislead fool! what will happen is this - grocery prices will plummet (in the short term) until Tesco's wins out and then they will shoot right through the roof! Pity the poor islanders then.

Anonymous said...

All we have left is tourism propped up by RET nothing as yet from ABM and AA.

Anonymous said...

the sun shines on the righteous - it is a beautiful day

well done RSPB

Anonymous said...

http://tiny.cc/TJubt

politicians give their views

well done lads

Anonymous said...

HEADLINES

"American imperilism stopped by ageing crofters."

Anonymous said...

CHEERIO MR PRICE!

SEE YA

WOULDN'T WANT TO BE YA

P45 FOR YOU

DIDUMS

Anonymous said...

12:08PM. Yes, you are right. Let's fight against skills and education and preserve a backwards, undeveloped, local economy, where a toilet cleaner has more training than most. As China and India forge ahead and the Outer Hebrides gets left further behind globally, finally the Outer Hebrides can take over the role of sweatshop of the world.

After all, you're totally right. Education is really bad, especially for Outer Hebrides children. We wouldn't want our children to get ahead in life, get fancy ideas, and move away, would we? "Keep them thick and keep them here", in low paid jobs such as painting turbine blades, so when we are old and infirm and dribbling, they can wipe our bottoms every morning and night. How dare they have a life, possibilities, and ambitions of their own; pure selfishness.

You disgust me with your anti-education stance. If you have children - and I pity them if you do - I hope they escape these islands, get a good education, and prosper elsewhere, for their sake. Away from you.

Anonymous said...

Just as well we are not relying on MWT or RSPB to put police on the streets or nurses in the hospitals. Thank you to the British Government for letting us get away with this charity case of an existence.

Anonymous said...

Anyone fancy a dance in the croft tonight?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIDQokQnT98

I hope our communities are never dragged through the stress and ugliness of these vile schemes again.

It has been a national disgrace how this has been promoted by the local authority, clearly in defiance of their democratic remit to represent the electorate.

Now how about slaying Pairc and Eishkein too - lets cut the shackles from all these developments.

They are wrong - down with them all.

People power is here to stay, and at last our voice is being heard.

Anonymous said...

Anon 318 and 320 - are you old enough to be allowed near a computer on your own?

Anonymous said...

Anon 303 - so our MP and MSP are good at stopping progress.

When are they going to do something to bring jobs to the islands?

Anonymous said...

3.55

Eh? - remember they have brought RET which = jobs.

Anonymous said...

3.45

Seems these charities and NGO's are more in touch than our council - you can't deny that.

They have been saying this would happen for 6 years, but our council would not listen and pumped OUR money into promoting a private development.

Perhaps we should listen to these groups and take them more seriously in the future.

windytubaman said...

At last sense prevails. I am overjoyed, who wants to live in a power station! It's not even as if we could have got off the island cheaply to escape these giant monstrosities, we are after all an island community. Perhaps now after this and the lingerbay quarry fiasco the council will at last understand that it's public consultation processes need to be radically overhauled. The islands population as a whole obviously value their enviroment far more than CNES does and it's about time they sat up and listened. We after all a democarcy not a dictatorship. I have never known such organised deafness by those who are elected to represent the views of their populace. An absolute disgrace that yet again holds the Western Isles up for ridicule by the rest of the population. WEll done SNP my vote was justified.

Anonymous said...

MWT have been neglecting those sheep and updating their website

http://www.mwtlewis.org.uk

Where does this leave the impending public inquiry for Eisgein?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:05 and 3:55. What total fools! When are you going to realise that it is NOT AA and AB's job to create economic developments. It is their job to represent the majority of their constituents, which IS what they did. Bury your heads in the sand as you might, the fact is that the vast majority of locals do not want this development.

If anybody is to be blamed for the economic state of the isles it is the Comhairle who are hell bent on pursuing a course of action against the will of the majority of the population and who displayed a monumental stupidity in having no back-up plan.

The Editor said...

Windpower enthusiasts might have a look at this comment from a Texan who knows that turbines make their money from government subsidies, not from the wind.

http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/008518.html

eyoop said...

Well done SNP. This is a big chunk of the reason they were voted in, and they have come up with the goods.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it facinating there seems to be only black or white in this case.
I for one am glad the scheme has been stopped but I could see the economic benefits, creating a difficult quandry.
(I am not sure if the Trust were/are the best custodians of the income or the land - it is difficult it see where you are going with your head pushed up your ...)
Realistically though, the only big benificiaries of a scheme this size would have been the shareholders of AMEC.
Perhaps as an island we need to be looking to become laterday crofters developing to be Charles Handy's 'Portfolio Man'. We see it already with people having multiple jobs. Perhaps the idea of developing business organically.
Perhaps CnES and HIE should be thinking about investing in mariginal business ideas and accepting there will be an attrition rate but some might survive?
Or perhaps I am just rambling or drunk with jubilation as I won't need to leave my home as it is buried under concrete ?

Anonymous said...

Who wants to work for the RSPB? You would have to be mad with the wages they pay

A quick search showed this in a current advert on their website

Assistant Warden (Maternity cover), RSPB, RSPB Old Moor Reserve, South Yorkshire, £7,462 - £8,532 pa

I now feel sorrow for their staff on the islands.

Anonymous said...

Who is toad of toad hall? Does he sell expensive fuel? Does he have anything to do with Sgoiltean Urra? Can anyone please enlighten me.

Anonymous said...

No need for an interconnector now. What now for Arnish and my taxpayers money that has been holding it up?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:56

Toad is indeed trader of highly expensive and profitable fuel. He is gutted that Tesco does not want his tacky business

MadEddieH said...

Indeed, no chance of an interconnector.....and thus no real future for all the small community-owned windfarms that people keep banging on about - for these small windfarms to be viable they need to be able to sell any of the excess energy they generate back to the National Grid/Power company. Unfortunately as there is no new interconnector coming and the current one is basically at capacity none of these new windfarms will be able to be linked into the Grid to export energy, thus a lot of the energy they create will be wasted and the community that owns them won't actually get any revenue from them.

So while a couple of turbines outside a community hall will help reduce the costs of heating/lighting said hall it probably won't make any money.

so well done MWT et al - "Outer Hebrides - the Rural Museum" here we come.

Anonymous said...

12.55pm

RPZ will do the trick

Anonymous said...

It amazes me how knowledgeable some folk try to be when clearly they are out the loop. AMEC where never on the same interconnector as the other schemes. They were looking at going it alone to Hunterston, Liverpool, wherever. Who ever would have them. They hadn't bought their place in the national grid like Pairc and Eishkein have. At least these guys have dipped their hand in their pocket - something LWP never did.

LWP is now consigned to the (non organic) bin. Let us all rapidly move on and get tidal flowing (sic). The other two biggies will have to stand or fall on their merits (personally I suspect fall). However having just read the full refusla on the Gov website link I bet both are quaking in their Gucci suede shoes......

john price III said...

I read windytubamans comment with interest and note he voted SNP. Lets hope that the Local Income Tax is to be set by the local authorities because then we could have a situation where if locals value their environment over development they could have their desolate moor and pay for their view of brown clad waste by having CNES impose a 20% LIT just to keep the place going

Anonymous said...

I haven't laughed so much for a long time: Photovoltaic cells? I was of the belief that you needed sunlight for these to generate electricity though I must be mistaken!

The reason for choosing wind turbines is that wind is something we get a lot of in the Western Isles.

The problem is simple: the Western Isles' economy needs a boost (a big boost at that). You cannot have economic growth with the public sector as the main employer.

Over the last few years the population has said NO repeatedly to the private sector, Lingerbay and now LWP. Can we really expect companies to invest in the islands if we keep doing this? Amec and British Energy have spent large amounts of money on the project and will get nothing back. Companies can not spend money like this if they can not see profit at the end of it. Lewis will become a no-go area.

If projects like this do not get approved there will never be new jobs created -> de-population -> fewer children -> more school closures (the Island's other big moan).

Also the cynic in me thinks that H.M. Government having a large stake in British Energy had something to do with the Minister's decison. I have a feeling that Scottish & Southern Energy's application for Pairc will be looked on more favourably!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1105 - Where does that leave my plan to gather all the half-used bottles of sun cream left by tourists, and develop an oil industry delivering 800 jobs?

Windytubaman said...

Mr Price, if you are indeed the Mr Price of AMEC, you once famously said 'if the people of Lewis do not want this development then we will leave'. Well after much debate at last somebody listened to us but it wasn't AMEC nor CnES. As we told you time and time again we don't want industrial scale development imposed on us from outside. Lewis is not the easiest place to choose to live it has it's own set of hardships which we put up with because of the places natural beauty, wildlife, cluture and people. What would be the point of destroying all that for a few bucks. If we wanted to earn lots of money we could go and work in the money markets in London or indeede most other places on the mainland but you see most of us don't live here to earn our millions, we live here because here is Lewis. What we do want is appropriate development as a result of discussion and agreement with the local population. Nobody but nobody on Lewis objects to the development of renewables but not at the cost of everything we hold dear.

Anonymous said...

Can we really expect companies to invest in the islands if we keep doing this?

Should this question not be pointed at our council. I have never seen such negativity in my life. "Keep telling the peasants they are poor and on their knees and they may remain that way" is obviously the motto in the Kremlin these days.

Anonymous said...

The people of Lewis are keen on investment and keen to make money but before a development of this scale is proposed publicly and before CnES let the companies concerned spend millions on the application wouldn't it just be logical to ask the people what they think of the idea first. This didn't happen for Lingerbay nor for the LWP proposal. It always seems to come as a surprise to CnES that people actually like the landscape of Lewis. There are plenty of other ways to generate cash e.g Sunday sailings, expansion and marketing of new marina, marketing of Lewis as a holiday destination (currently one of the best kept secrets in Scotland), better sponsorship and marketing of local festivals. The story of the cruise ship who landed here last year and disgorged it's 100's of passengers onto Lewis only to find everything shut because it was a Sunday is the sort of missed opportunity that gets me. If we know a cruise ship is coming in lets put something on for them to enjoy seems logical.

Anonymous said...

7.11 am.

'Marketing of Lewis as a holiday destination (currently one of the best kept secrets in Scotland)'

Are you having a laugh! You must be a marketing f*****g genius if you can persuade people to come here to spend their hard earned holiday time and money.

Anonymous said...

7.11 am.


Thanks for your posting Vice Convenor.............

Anonymous said...

'Are you having a laugh'.

You are just the sort of person who ends up as a director of 'Department for wrecking the Western Isles' or as it is otherwise known the 'Planning Department' at Sandwick Rd. Look if you don't like the place f*** off to London earn megabucks doing something else and leave the rest of us to it. We love it here and so do at least 11,000 others who bothered to write in to defend our Island. If you don't fancy London I hear 'The Midlands' is quite good for heavy industry.

Anonymous said...

7.54 pm

If what you are doing is defending the island, I feel sorry for it. Look at what happened to our sustainable approach to fishing. The fishermen tied up the fleet for a seventh of the week and kept the boats to a size that did not harvest on an industrial scale. Where did it get them? Go and have a look around Stornoway harbour for your answer.

In this era scarce resources to reject this level of inward investment is madness.

Anonymous said...

No I am not trying to defend everything the Island does. I am not religious although I respect other peoples right to worship. I don't like the fact that there are no Sunday Sailings and firmly belive that such a service would contribute greatly to our island economy. I also believe that the church has a stranglehold on many of the institutions on the Island and that their out dated beliefs hold many of us back. Nevertheless I still say that I would rather live here than most anywhere else in the world.

Anonymous said...

'In this era scarce resources to reject this level of inward investment is madness.'

And I say again to you at what cost. This place is not an easy place to live in due to weather, cancelled ferries and closed Sundays. You have to choose to live here beacuse you love the place it's scenery and it's way of life. Take away those factors by building an industrial scale Windfarm and asking people to live in it and most would vote with their feet. And another thing! If you expect me to believe that the revenue generated would have been spent wisely and fairly by the likes of CnEs and Stornoway Trust you must be madder than a March hare.

Anonymous said...

Your contention that any monies received might be wasted is no basis on which to reject the scheme. Further, if you are happy to receive subsidies from the urban working classes then why should they, as tax payers, not have a say in whether the Western Isles should contribute more to the national economy. Why should they tolerate a system whereby their schools and hospitals are impoverished, to our benefit. I don’t agree with your arguments. I believe we should shoulder our share of national wealth creation and above all else we should put ourselves in a position where we are able to provide more for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Lets see locals get back to food production. there is a heck of a lot of fields out there abandoned. They could be full of crops, pigs, cows, potatoes, whatever. But no. locals would rather grasp onto them and not allow anyone else the oppurtunity to work. This place is screwed up and needs sorting out.

Anonymous said...

You argue a good case until you reflect that the only reason Wind Energy works (best case scenario 35% efficient) is because of the huge subsidies which come from the Tax payers you highlighted earlier. So by having Industrial sized wind factories here we would be using more of their subsidies not less. If we are to use less of their wealth lets have local small scale innovative energy schemes which can store power e.g hydrogen schemes and then use the energy ourselves this would make ourselves a more attractive place to live. Some inward investment in the college would also attract the right kind of minds to utilise the schemes and improve our lot.

The Western Isles problem as regards investment in heavy industry has and always will be it's distance from the end user. It is just not economic to ship the raw materials here to construct a product and then to ship it back out again. We need to look as an island at becoming far more self sufficient as regards our own needs. The Western Isles should be growing more and using our reputation as a clean enviroment to market the same (Fresh meat, vegetables, Fish, etc). With the world desperate for organic produce from clean enviroments we should be a net exporter not importer of food stuffs.

At the end of the day 'nothing worthwhile has ever been created quickly'

Anonymous said...

We have all contributed to a hot debate on this great blog site and in doing so have shown the depth of belief and range of view points that are held on this island. The one thing we all should agree on is that CnES should consult more not just on this issue but on wealth creation as a whole. There are plenty of ideas out there, or so it would seem.

Anonymous said...

Lets get back to the subject of Toad