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By Hannah O’Hanlon
The movement of 120 abnormal indivisible wind farm loads delaying journeys by 234 per cent has been branded ‘outrageous.’
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) plans for the extra 40km of journeys, through Kintyre, emerged at a West Kintyre Community Council (WKCC) meeting on Monday.
The Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) is considering a proposal by RES for a 15 turbine wind farm at Killean, near Tayinloan.
The original plan to transport the AILs, described as loads that ‘cannot, without undue expense or risk of damage, be divided into two or more loads’, from Campbeltown harbour, was to create a hard-standing area in a field on the opposite side of the A83 to the site entrance.
A revised transport and access strategy, discussed at WKCC’s meeting, is for the lorry loads to be taken 20km further north to RES’s existing Freasdail Wind Farm entrance, near Whitehouse, a further 800m to a turning area off the main road, before returning down the A83 to Killean.
The loads are expected to travel at about 25kmph and be escorted throughout their journeys.
The report found that the transportation of the AILs has the potential to cause ‘a substantial increase in journey time to road users’ but that ‘overall the residual effect’ is considered to be ‘not significant’.
It anticipates an increase in journey time for road users travelling at 90kmph (55.9mph) between Killean and Freasdail of 243 per cent, from 14 minutes to 48 minutes.
It summarised that ‘due to the low volume of vehicles that would be affected’ and the ‘nature of their journey’, the impact on journey times is ‘not considered to be significant’.
Incensed members of WKCC and the public branded the plans ‘outrageous’, ‘insulting’ and ‘abominable’.
The report outlined the times considered ‘appropriate for the transportation of AILs’, which was from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm.
‘I’ll not be shopping in Campbeltown anymore then!’ said one WKCC member.
Another added: ‘RES’s plans show a complete disregard for the people living in this area.’
Consultees, including WKCC and Argyll and Bute Council, which objected to the original application, will have to submit hearing statements by Tuesday, November 27.
The plans can be viewed on the DPEA’s website by searching for case reference number WIN-130-3.
A turbine at the existing Freasdail wind farm with the Arran mountains in the background. 25_c26freasdail01