Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Straid wind farm # 5

Today, an article appeared in the Carrick Gazette stating that the number of wind turbines for the proposed Straid wind farm has been reduced from 16 to 14, and that the remaining turbines had been moved further back to 'further reduce any visual impact when seen directly against Pinbain Hill'. All of this is apparently in response to the recent exhibitions held in Lendalfoot and Colmonell. Now, this may appear to be good news on the surface but we need to be a little bit careful. I am very cynical about this move. It is not uncommon to initially releases proposals that are controversial in terms of number and positioning of wind turbines, expecting the overall number to be reduced. Its a bit like asking for more than a house is worth knowing full well that the purchaser will almost always try to reduce the purchase price. Its a game we like to play. Has this happened here? Only ecotricity and the land owner can comment on that, but it would not suprise me in the slightest to learn that the original design contained a number of disposable turbines that could be discarded as false gestures of good will if required. To my mind, there are still 14 turbines too many in this proposal.

It seems a pity that ecotricity seemed quite happy to issue a press release regarding the turbine reduction and repositioning before contacting the local residents. It seems the residents of Lendalfoot are undergoing Community Consultation via the printed media.

In the article, the illustrious Mr Cheshire from ecotricity tries to put more positive spin on things by saying that the Sraid wind farm will not be visible from almost all of Girvan. No great suprise there, Girvan is after all about 5 miles from Lendalfoot and is separated from the proposed development area by a number of large hills. Mr Cheshire goes on to say that the Straid wind farm will not be visible from Colmonell either, again, no great suprise since that's miles away as well and is also separated from the proposed development site by a large hill.

Finally, Mr Cheshire goes on to describe the views from Lendalfoot. Well, he goes on to say that views will be 'restricted from the South beyond the nearby Varyag memorial'. Again, no great suprise - there's hill in the way South of the memorial, and the road goes round a bend! However, Mr Cheshire does not go on to say that 'from a point adjacent to the Varyag memmorial, North to a point adjacent to the turn-in to Pinbain Hill, Straid wind farm will dominate the landscape to the East'. He could also perhaps have said, 'if you close your eyes you won't be able to see the the turbines at all - and you most certainly won't see them from Ayr'. A pity really, since all of these last statements are equally obvious and correct.

Unfortunately at the time of posting, ecotricity's web site hadn't been updated with the new numbers, and there is no indication of where the turbines will now be placed. So, I assume the residents of Lendalfoot will now just have to wait until ecotricity can be bothered to let them know what they are currently proposing.