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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Eishken planning approval

So the Government have approved the 13 turbine development in Eishken.

Given that the Public Local Inquiry concerned a 53 turbine application, of which these 13 turbines were a part, I am doubtful about whether or not the Government have any coherent grasp on wind farm policy.

If the PLI throws out the current application, where does that leave today's approval?

Does this action not prejudice the PLI as it is being considered by the Reporter?

Although I support the application approved plan, I am concerned that whatever the outcome this is going to end up in Court with the PLI 'losers' claiming that the approval has prejudiced the PLI decision.

Indeed, has the approval not made a large part of the debate at the PLI meaningless?

Whatever the eventual outcome, this decision is bound to enrage the opponents, who will doubtless vent their spleens here.....

Update 13/6/08: Having thought about this overnight, I am even more confused about how the various decisions will interact. I foresee lots of very expensive lawyers giving expensive and weighty opinions to both sides, which will no doubt be contradictory.

If BMP now proceed with building the 13 approved towers and the application for 53 is refused, do they just continue with their plans? Even if the decision was that no turbines should ever be built anywhere on that area? The more I think about it, the less satisfactory the decision to do nothing is.

The application should have been called in, pending the decision of the PLI.


Anonymous said...

I would like to know how this fits with RPZ?

It is a fact that there is finite potential capacity on the existing grid, but that RPZ offers an opportunity for the smaller schemes. (Although it is very notable that the groups who are pursuing this seem to be enjoying precious little support from the Comhairle presumably because the WIDT doesn't stand to make much from a few turbines here and there). Very notably Calum Macdonald (ex-mp)has been conspicuously ignored despite his best efforts to deliver.

It's also very uncertain what size any new major upgraded transmission system would be, and it is being assumed that there will be spare capacity, although it is unclear what projects have got connection agreements.

In addition it is not always technically straightforward for small scale schemes to access the grid - size is not everything as they say, and very major and often prohibitive costs can be involved before small schemes can plug in.

Further it is the case that if you do have a connection agreement and planning consent, then you are in the running ahead of everyone else.

Are we in a situation therefore, whereby in the rush to consent everything and anything just to get something on the table that Oppenheim is now ahead of the local projects in accessing any potential existing spare grid capacity?

This would indeed mean that if the interconnector does not materialise, then the community will have lost out big-time, while the fat cats clean up.

It is a tragedy that the opportunity wasn't taken to ensure that local projects were developed and secured before anything else - before Arnish Moor, before Pentland Road, the lot.

Based on current ballpark figures, 6 turbines, circa 10MW would bring in around a £million per year. Was that not enough? Surely a million p.a. could have been put to very good use? It would have also made us theoretically energy self-sufficient which would have been a tremendous accolade for the islands.

Instead the Comhairle took a big gamble, presumably egged on by developers who had everything to gain, presumably knowing that the stakes were high. They were high-handed, arrogant and demonstrated absolutely no confidence in their own community, a situation that seems to remain.
I'm sure that if it all turns to dust they will be quick enough to point the finger and anyone but themselves.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Anonymous said...

and the MWT people have been nothing but fair...and SNH only ADVISE the do not make objections...and the RSPB know a lot about conservation....and Elvis is alive and well

Anonymous said...


What's up with your blog?
Almost everything has been lined out.


Angus said...


I improperly closed the del tag! Now fixed.

Anonymous said...


As a 'neutral' on this debate just one reasoned point.

Is it not the case that the reporter doesn't make the decision. She can recommend something, but at the end of the day, it is the relevant Government Minister who says yeah or neay.

The Minister does not have to go with the suggestion of the reporter. I suspect that is how they will get around any legal issues that may arise from this.

Poor timing though as it makes it look like a political decision rather than one based on the presented facts. It doesn't really give you faith in the system whether you are a supporter or an anti.

Anonymous said...

1:15 PM ah... that explains who i saw the other day...

Anonymous said...

The Government have not approved it. That is not their job - that is the Comhairle's. We approved it, Edinburgh just decided not to interfere again.

Anonymous said...

Either way, it's brilliant news for the Islands. It's just a shame that there isn't an extra zero on the end..

Anonymous said...

Lets face it - it will never happen.

No turbine will turn at Eishken for a decade - if ever. No interconnector will be built before2013 and the Trump inquiry is flushing out that all major national building work will be delayed due to building of sporting stadia in years to come. It still leaves the interesting question of where ex-Convenor Mackay is going to find his £4million to pay for it.

In times of credit crunch and recession who will give a few aging crofters that kind of cash with just 50 sheep to offer as equity? Names of lenders on this blog please and I will buy you Porsche!

Come into the real world lads - you are wasting your time.

Anonymous said...

I followed the link you gave and couldn't see the word 'approved' anywhere. Just says ministers won't object - posssibly because there's no point in spending tons of money objecting to something that will probably not get off the ground anyway because there will be no way for the Eisken Estate to sell the electricity to the fat cat eletcricty company shareholders in England. That's what the point of it is isn't it?

Anonymous said...

8.08 pm There are a lot of posts on this blog that are written in the spirit of Private Fraser out of Dads Army, and when PG Wodehouse wrote "It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine' he was bang on.

Nothing short of mealy mouthed defeatisism. No wonder the islands have a reputation for indolence. A lot of you Johnny Two Brains have allowed your angst to overwhelm you and reduce you to whining bratishness and worse still, inertia.

Anonymous said...

When Councillor Maclean stated that at least 13 turbines would definately be built on Eishken as the Comhairle had granted plannng approval the Reporter raised her eyebrowns as if to disagree. She and the Scottish Government can't now fail but to take this decision into account.

Anonymous said...

That will be Cllr Phillip "the bung" MacLean who has taken the deveoplers money for his own gain and self promotion. Clearly a respected memeber of the community. Ahem.

8:18am: as someone who obviously went to the inquiry please tell me where the community trust will find £5M to pay for this. I am worried this will cripple our community, not save it. Most are struggling to repay mortgages and dont need this level of debt hanging over them.

Anonymous said...


So right

The Godfather of Gravir has sold his community down the drain - he will do any thing to halt the influx of non Calvinists into Pairc

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:10

"No wonder the islands have a reputation for indolence."

The islands have never had a reputation for indolence. You have attached that label to them yourself through your own prejudices.

Be careful on that high horse. It's a long way to the ground. And mind you don't sunbmit yourself to defeatisisisism :-)

Anonymous said...

judging by his silence, Absent Allan presumably supports this development.

Didn't he promise to oppose it?

Anonymous said...

"And mind you don't sunbmit yourself to defeatisisisism"

submit. Did you put that 'n' in, Angus? ;-)

Anonymous said...

11:21 sum peepil obveeuslee do not no how to spel

Anonymous said...

Can we have a debate about the dreadful state of the carrots in the Co-op?

Anonymous said...

And their stinking, rank mushrooms.

Anonymous said...


If you were proper crofters you would grow yer own!

Lets get back to the case in hand - the con that is wind turbines and the co-horts that back them

Anonymous said...

To anon 8:30 from anon 8:18

At least Maclean turned up and said something - unlike the other two south lochs councillors - the holy bun and the gin soaked queen who were obviously too busy closing our schools to attend. All I think he was saying was if it's going to happen, lets get the best deal.

If you're looking for real self promoting councillors how about McCormack, Muldova Nicholson (has a disclosure check ever been carried out on him?), MacSween, Big Annie, Tomalie etc......

Anonymous said...

Apologies for cross posting to the Glason Trust thread but..........

So what is the problem in getting turbines to Eishken?

Are we as tax payers going to have to foot the bill for this too,(in terms of road fixing as has been flagged on the Galson post) especially as there is just 13 turbines now?

Anonymous said...

Re: your update....

The 13 turbines will happen even if the inquiry says no to the 53. That's the point Cllr Maclean has been making (and getting abuse for doing so from your bloggers including Dr Finlay Shawbost no doubt and Balallan MacNulty). What's now more likely is that all 53 (or is it 50?) will be approved.

If the Scottish Government say there's still a future for renweables after the Lewis Windpower refusal that where else can it happen other than Eishken?

Wasn't it interesting to hear Dr Finlay talking to Gravir Mackay about the Consumer Direct call centre at the inquiry about how many fine jobs it had created. What Dr Finlay didn't mention was that it was built on his own croft! Who got the big 'bung' then Dr Finlay?

Anonymous said...

Does this decision leave anyone any further forward?

Is it worth Arnish opening for just 13 turbines?

Can the developer proceed with such a small number of turbines considering the cost of the infastructure that is required? I doubt it. Yet again we are left in limbo with no clear cut answers.

I also note the silence from the Vice Convenor who is usually the first to applaud such decisions. My assumption is theerfore that the Comhairle know this is doomed and is little more than window dressing to apease.

Anonymous said...

Told you so, Angus, this is a premeditated muddle on the part of Uncle Nick, to bring in the major windfarm piecemeal. Call in the application? Well, they ain't done it. They've fallen for NO's ruse, and it's el-thickos for govt.
Positive side is (for an opponent) that this will open the debate for protracted legalistics, hopefully delaying things indefinitely.

Anonymous said...

The Comhairle (Vice-Convenor)has/had no interest in Eishken - they/he were/was only interested in Lewis Windpower. All the eggs in one basket! What was in it for him?

Anonymous said...

You heard it hear first (most of you anyway)

The hot term by the end of the summer will be..........

"salami slicing"

Brussels here we come.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:42

Your reference to the Talibun and the Dipso reminds me to introduce the CnES Members expenses published on the Council Web Site. Have a good look at the wad the caravan park lady has claimed and then cross reference it with her record of attendances at any thing. Dodgy at best.

Anonymous said...

Now that Oppenheim has got the first foot into devestating North Harris lets look at how he will go about this. He needs to get on to to his land with big trucks and diggers but how with his own quiet little road at risk and the presence of Loch Seaforth.

I have an idea go through the Aline forest. But that is owned by the community in almost total opposition However the Erisort Trust the COMMUNITY owners will roll over -no problem, who runs that bent trust and has just sack some more workers? yes! McDowall one of Oppenheims chief lieutenants (along with the Calvinist bully of Gravir MacKay and the two faced MacIver)supported by another toady of his Broadband Morrison and of course Angus petrols council spy Ken Roddy.

Watch this space and watch them roll over and let Oppenheim drive through the forest to his hills.

Community Trust my a**e.

Anonymous said...


Can you provide the links - I am struggling to find on Council website

Angus said...

It's here.

Anonymous said...

Dare I ask whom is Caravan Park lady

Can I get a broader hint!

Anonymous said...


The caravan lady aka the dipso is the other of the two ladies representing Harris as Councillors