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

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pairc windfarm

The RSPB and MWT have both severely criticised the proposed windfarm development at Pairc on a number of grounds.

Nothing new there, you might think, and right you are too.

Despite both organisations claiming to support windfarms in principle, neither have provided a single constructive contribution to the debate over the location of any developments
in the Western Isles, preferring to object to virtually every development, and failing to get involved in community schemes.

However, in this application I think that they might be correct in one aspect of their concerns. I have serious reservations over the cumulative impact of the three large scale proposals on the islands.

Now, this doesn't mean that I object to the proposals, per se, just that I think that the three together may be too much. If either of the others is refused or seriously amended then I might change my view, but at present I am swithering.

It is incumbent upon the new Government to quickly come to decisions upon each of the applications in front of them. It is only right that cumulative impact be considered in coming to each of the decisions (and I would be astonished were it not), along with all the other factors.

There are three applications for the islands sitting on the Ministers desk: Beinn Mhor Power, Lewis Wind Power and the community scheme for three turbines at Ardhasaig for the North Harris Trust.

These three have significant community benefit implications for the islands, but the Pairc scheme does not, and is the subject of a hostile community buy-out which the landowner has tried to prevent through the clever use of interposed leases. He hopes this will keep the profits in his pocket, even if the buy-out goes ahead. It may not be a planning consideration, but it is a factor which I hope the Comhairle will consider.


Anonymous said...

The Pairc scheme--in fact, all three schemes--must be approved. Whether they benefit the community is entirely irrelevant, as I'm sure you'll agree.

The substance of the matter is that we must stop climate change and global warming, no matter whether local communities like it or not.

Angus said...

I must disagree with you.

There is a balance between the wider interest and the views of those in the immediate locality.

I believe that approval of all three schemes - in an unmodified form - will probably be too much for the environment.

The urgency is for the Executive to find plenty of locations for plenty of windfarms --- or even better, to ensure that working offshore technologies are developed and implemented as a matter of priority.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that our Councillors were vilified for voting through the North Lewis and Eishken Windfarms.

They saw that the Island needed regenerating and because of their stance, an excellent package of benefits was secured for the community.

Cut to Pairc windfarm proposal by SSE and the absence of community benefit on offer by these bullish Developers. There is no comparisson in the treatment of the community by SSE as there was by the Developers for North Lewis and Eishken windfarms.

It would be playing into the Developer's hands - not to mention the RSPB's - to allow this windfarm on the Pairc estate.

The RSPB were roped in by MWT to give weight to their arguement that no turbines should be located on the Barvas moor. It has special designation status and is habitat to a variety of birds many people hadn't heard of.

So where exactly does that leave?

Pairc - because it is virtually the only area left in the Western Isles without special designation status.

Pairc is a very important asset for the future of our community. If the only place you can put turbines is Pairc, why GIVE it away to SSE? Why yield to the influence of the RSPB?

Surely it would be better for the WHOLE of the Island to locate several community turbines on Pairc instead? Keep the electricity for ourselves and keep our household bills low. Something that will benefit every person on the Island.

Yet, as the few 'beneficiaries' in South Lochs squabble amongst themselves for the few crumbs falling from their master's table, the Developers must be rubbing their hands with glee.