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

Friday, July 27, 2007

Benn Mhor Power

I have been very reliably advised that the Eishken wind farm application is to be sent to a Public Local Inquiry next week.

Disappointing? Yes, hugely. Another waste of the Council's money in holding all the meetings and now finding another £100,000 to attend the hearings. Still, making other people spend money doesn't seem to figure on the agenda of the Executive.

Anyone thought of the consequences?

* PLI for the Lewis Wind Power applications
* PLI for the turbine in Barra (which is already having to fund a full environmental impact assessment)
* PLI for the planned turbines in South Uist for Storas Uibhist
* PLI for the turbines on the Pentland Road
* PLI for the Pairc proposal
* PLIs for all the other small community applications in the pipeline

Turning to the Pairc proposal, as you know it is currently the subject of a highly disputed attempted community buy-out, which the owner and developer are trying to stymie by negotiating on the community benefit.

Why should they now bother? There is absolutely no incentive on developers to negotiate with communities, or even with the Comhairle, or even keep them informed beyond the absolute legal minimum, on the assumption that they might as well save all the negotiating until the PLI.

The democratic input has now been removed from the residents, the communities and the Council and handed to the unelected for consideration, so that the Ministers can avoid the blame.


I would have preferred the honesty of a refusal, rather than another 5 years of legal proceedings and another Lingerbay.


Anonymous said...

Say bye bye to the commercial and economic future of the Islands.
Looking forward to them becoming a large retirement home.
Last one left please switch off the lights (powered by the wealth of Shetland and Orkney)
Thanks Angus MacNeil and Alasdair Allan.

Anonymous said...

A large retirement home, Angus ManNeil and a haven for extreme MWT protestors.
Aye, it'll be a fabulous place to live, not!

Anonymous said...

Truly a great day for the well heeled middle class “intellectuals” on the west side of Lewis - most of whom made their money from public subsidy pouring into gaelic tv and gaelic related initiatives over the years. Mr Allan and Mr MacNeil will certainly be made welcome in their homes. Well done our parliamentarians – you’ve played the populism cards and now you’re reaping the benefits and managed to screw the islands and deny Hearachs/ Uiisteachs and others the chance to improve their communities. Meanwhile, the puppet masters behind the anti renewable lobby will slurp their Bolly with glee tonight and of course return on Monday to slurping and gobbling public subsidy….. A great thing this democracy. And up in Shetland – they just get on with it – and laugh at the gaels who refuse to capitalise on the gales….

Angus said...

MWT and I agree on something!!!!

Objector Catriona Campbell said a clean decision to reject the scheme should have been made, emphasising that NSAs "create valuable jobs, particularly in tourism".

Neither objectors nor supporters want a long drawn out Public Inquiry, as it is in no-one's interest.

Anyone remember the promise of a "Time limited Public Inquiry"?

Anonymous said...

My sources tell me that the Harris wind farm was sent to a PLI because it was in a 'National Scenic Area'. These same moles tell me that BMP will suffer the same fate. This drove me to seek out details of NSAs in the Western Isles and it is interesting indeed. There are 3 NSAs
St Kilda
South Uist Machair
South Lewis, Harris and North Uist

Not being an expert on where BMP are to be located I assume it must be within the last area. I know LWP is to the north and west so does this mean that it may be given the go ahead?
Also I believe that the old South Uist estates looked at hills towards the east as sites for its windfarm and if the new mob are following that plan then there should be no need for a PLI as the machair NSA will not be disturbed.

Angus said...

Both North Harris and BMP are in the "South Lewis, Harris and North Uist" NSA.

LMP is in a SPA (Special Protection Area), so slightly different rules apply.

Thanks for reminding me that SUE put up some monitoring masts on hills to the East. Building there, rather than on the machair will be hideously more expensive.

The community turbines at Kildonan were obviously erected just in time.