The developers have withdrawn their planning application for a wind farm overlooking Helensburgh. But that is only part of the story. They have stated that they are looking into submitting a replacement application. The wording of their communication to Argyll and Bute Council included the following two key paragraphs.
"I can confirm we wish to formally withdraw the Helensburgh Community Wind Farm application at this stage on the basis that the aviation objection with the turbines in the current layout cannot be overcome.
"We continue to work with NATS and are in the process of screening an alternative location within the site boundary, it is the intention of Green Cat, Luss Estates and the Helensburgh Community group that a revised application which removes the aviation issue will be made in due course." The full letter can be seen on the Argyll and Bute Council website. So the proposal is not necessarily at an end. TEG-H will revise this whole website if a new planning application gets submitted. Argyll and Bute Council's new Local Development Plan (LDP) is now active. The Scottish Government had the final say in the content of the LDP and has added to the LDP elements of a new Scottish Planning Policy which have been published since the Council's draft of the LDP. For onshore wind farms, this involved a fuller section, including 19 criteria to which local authorities must have regard.
In the opinion of TEG-H, these make the case against the Helensburgh wind farm stronger.
Summary of objections - 27th February 2015
At the last time we were able to check, the rates at which submissions of support for the wind farm and objections to it were as follows :
Letters of support : 23. Objections : 387. (IN ADDITION to these, there was also an electronic petition of 205 objectors.)
Scottish Natural Heritage and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority are especially important objectors and both provided a range of grounds for refusal. Other organisations which have objected include the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, The Campaign for Scottish National Parks, The Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and several others. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has submitted two critical letters which draw attention to the wildlife value of the area in question and mention several "red list" species. Both Glasgow Airport and the National Air Traffic Services have objected on grounds that the turbines would create 'clutter' on their radar.
In response, the Council's planners advised the developers that these might result in a recommendation of rejection unless there is rectification.
Three community councils objected, including Rhu and Shandon Community Council on whose territory the turbines would be located. A fourth community council, Helensburgh's, held a public meeting at which a vote was taken and a clear majority (45 to 21) voted against the wind farm.
There have been other indications of public concern.
A questionnaire survey by the Rhu and Shandon Community Council showed 11% support, 89% against.
The developers' own questionnaire, sent by Royal Mail to households in Helensburgh, showed 38% support, 62% against.
Scottish government reporter's decisions on the proposed local development plan - 25th January 2015
Argyll and Bute Council's Development Plan has been replaced with a new Local Development Plan (LDP).
TEG-H has analysed the changes to wind farm policies. In our assessment they strengthen the case against the proposed Helensburgh wind farm.
Council required more information from the developers - 23rd November 2014
Planning application for a WIND FARM overlooking Helensburgh - Upate 28 July 2014
The planning application was submitted for the wind farm in July 2014. Details published by Argyll and Bute Council were as follows:
Reference: 14/01674/PP Officer: Allocated To Area Office, Telephone: 01546 605518 Ward: 20 - Lomond North Community C.: Luss And Arden Community Council Proposal: Erection of five 800kW wind turbines (86.5 metres high to blade tip), formation of new vehicular access,crane hardstandings and erection of substation and temporary works compound. Location: Land To South East Of Tom Na H Airidh , And North Of Drumfad Wood, Approximately 2km North Of Helensburgh, Argyll And Bute Applicant: Helensburgh Renewables 23 Guy Mannering Road, Helensburgh, Argyll And Bute, G84 7TJ Agent: Green Cat Renewables Suite 2, Thainstone Axis Centre, Thainstone, Inverurie, AB51 5TB Development type: 06B - Electricity Generation - Grid Reference: 230140 - 685162
The public can access details directly as follows
For Argyll and Bute Council planning page click here
... then type (or cut/paste) the number 14/01674/PPinto the search box
Planning application for a WIND MEASURING MAST - Update July 2014.
A planning application to set up wind sensors on the hill overlooking Helensburgh was submitted in May 2014 (A&BC reference 14/00797/PP). It was a prelude to a wind farm application. Planning permission for the measuring mast was granted TEG-H questioned the suitability of the location of the mast since it was well away from the proposed wind farm.