Plans for second south of Campbeltown wind farm

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A scoping report for a second wind farm south of Campbeltown has been submitted to the Scottish Government.

Energiekontor UK Ltd has submitted an environmental impact assessment scoping report to Scottish ministers, requesting a review in relation to a proposed Breackerie Wind Farm development of 21 turbines, between 200m and 230m in height, about five miles south-west of Campbeltown.

It comes just a few weeks after ITPEnergised Limited, on behalf of SSE Generation Ltd, submitted a scoping report for a wind farm of 10 turbines to a maximum height of 180 metres at High Dalrioch, about one mile south-west of Campbeltown.

There are currently 20 wind farm sites in Kintyre at various stages of development, from initial examination to fully operational, but the latest proposals, if planning permission is sought and granted, would be the first south of Campbeltown.

They were submitted after a ‘no wind farms’ designation for land south of the town in Argyll and Bute Council’s 2015 Local Development Plan was removed from the proposed Local Development Plan 2, which is currently being independently examined by a reporter appointed by the Scottish Government.

Valerie Nimmo told the Courier that although Campbeltown Community Council, of which she is convener, ‘has always been a supporter of renewable energy’, it has some concerns about the Breackerie plans as they are.

‘While I have not had time, as yet, to read the scoping report on Breackerie thoroughly, I know this site is close to Scottish Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve at Largiebaan and I would be concerned with the impact on the golden eagles known to nest there,’ she said.

‘The area has rich peat deposits, which absorb carbon and it is questionable whether the destruction of these for the production of renewable energy will benefit our environment.

‘Our area is much dependent on tourism and we would not wish our rural landscape to be turned into an industrial one.

‘We have concerns about the huge height of the proposed turbines – 200-230m turbines, as proposed, are offshore-sized turbines and, apart from being visible from more areas, they will require navigation lights and hence impact on our dark skies.’

She added that the community council would request that community shared ownership and community benefit were mandatory for the development to gain planning permission, in line with the Scottish Government Good Practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments, as well as seeking to have a private wire network, which could supply the community with electricity at a cheaper rate.

EKREG, a volunteer group working to maximise the financial benefits to communities impacted by wind farm developments, is already in discussions with Enegiekontor over its community-shared ownership model for other wind farms it proposes building in Kintyre – Narachan, 2.5 miles east of Tayinloan, and Rowan, 2.8 miles north-west of Tarbert – and will now engage with the company regarding Breackerie.

The full Breackerie Wind Farm scoping report is available to view online at www.energyconsents.scot, using reference ECU00004507.