Statement of Objection

Statement of Objection

Ecotricity – Proposed Windfarm Development Straid, Lendalfoot

Carleton Bay Association object in the strongest possible terms to the windfarm which Ecotricity propose to develop on Straid Farm at Lendalfoot.

That objection is to this particular proposal and not against the establishment of windfarms in appropriate locations recognising the imperative of renewable energy.

Ecotricity’s proposals to develop a windfarm on Straid Farm is fundamentally flawed and inappropriate contravening as it does a number of established policies and guidelines including the South Ayrshire Council Local Plan, the Ayrshire Joint Structure Plan and the Addendum to the Ayrshire Joint Structure Plan Technical Report – Guidance on the Location of Windfarms within Ayrshire.

Carleton Bay Association’s objections are as follows:-

1. Dominant Visual Impact

The proposed development is within 2 kilometres of Lendalfoot village and will have an overwhelming and dominant visual impact.
Ecotricity have published and submitted to South Ayrshire Council a number of photomontage images intended to show the visual impact of the proposed windfarm development.
Ecotricity’s photo montage images are not representative of the visual impact which the proposed windfarm development will have.

2. Cumulative Impact – Other Windfarms
There are 5 windfarms already operating in South Ayrshire with 367 megawatts of capacity and a further 10 windfarms (including the proposed development at Straid Farm) at different stages of consenting and development adding a further 760 watts of capacity.

The cumulative impact does not support development of a windfarm in such a prominent position as Straid Farm.  Even without the proposed development at Straid Farm the total capacity in South Ayrshire will be around 1100 megawatts which represents almost 15% of the Scottish Government’s known onshore target for wind generation in Scotland of 7500 megawatts, all within less than 5200 acres in a small part of the country.

The cumulative impact does not support development of a windfarm in such a prominent position as Straid Farm.  There are a number of particular reasons why the Straid Farm development should not be approved in that it is well outside the broad area of search as defined by South Ayrshire as being the most suitable for developing and the proposal does not support South Ayrshire Council’s planned approach based on a concentration of development into a smaller area of larger windfarms designed to reduce the level of landscape used in addition to reducing visual impact.

3. Cumulative Impact – Landfill Site
Straid Farm has operated a Landfill Site for over 15 years with a detrimental effect on Lendalfoot Village and the local environment.  The consent for that Landfill Site expires in 2012 and there is a reasonable expectation that in accordance with the conditions attaching to the original consents the site will be reinstated and restored to a natural state.  Any further development adjacent to the Landfill Site compounds the damage and impact that has already been caused by it.

4. Displacement of Birds
The bird population at Lendalfoot has evolved in recent years to give two distinct groupings. Those birds in the habitat, both land and sea, living very much as nature intended and the very substantial colonies of urbanised seagulls drawn to and living off the landfill site.  The urbanised sea gulls roost on Straid Farm and on the beach to the west of Straid Farm.  There is a separate colony that roosts on the main beach in Lendalfoot.

Since the establishment of the Landfill at Straid Farm these sea gull colonies have been a source of nuisance and there is a real concern that the development and operation of a windfarm on Straid Farm will displace the sea gull population exacerbating the nuisance which they cause in Lendalfoot Village and on the main beach in Lendalfoot.

There is also concern in the light of recent studies and research on gannets, guillemots and razor bills that the proposed windfarm development is likely to cause displacement of this grouping of sea birds.  This is of particular concern in relation to the gannets from Ailsa Craig that regularly feed close inshore off Lendalfoot – see Annex – Displacement & Collision Risk – Birds.

5. Noise and Light Pollution
The windfarm development which Ecotricity propose to develop on Straid Farm is within 2km of 36 separate dwelling houses and 16 fixed caravans.  It is within 3.6km of a further 33 separate dwellinghouses. Noise pollution from the proposed windfarm will have a particular and adverse impact on the four dwellinghouses which are closest to it.  Cundry Mains (628m), Currarie (694m), Barchlewan (843m), and Lendal Lodge 880m).

Carleton Bay Association believe that South Ayrshire Council should adhere to the 2km rule established in the Addendum referred to above refusing consent to the proposed windfarm development rather than relying on mitigation – see Annex – Noise and Light Pollution.

6. Impact on Tourism
Lendalfoot and the surrounding area has been enjoyed by generations as an area of natural scenic beauty and a destination for holidaymakers.  The proposed development has an unnecessary and detrimental impact particularly given its very close proximity to the coast.  The proposed development will have a significant adverse impact on tourism and recreational interests and is contrary to South Ayrshire Council’s Local Plan which recognises tourism as being a vital and traditional element of the South Ayrshire economy.

Research commissioned by the Scottish Government concluded that areas of great landscape value should be afforded protection from windfarms.  The site of the proposed development is in such an area.  That research also concluded “that the location of a windfarm that can be viewed from a major tourist route should be avoided” – See Annex – Impact on Tourism.

7. A77
The A77 has a very bad record for accidents and resulting mortalities.  The proximity of the proposed windfarm to the A77 and its prominent visibility give rise to the very real and obvious danger of driver distraction.  This is of particular concern within the village of Lendalfoot itself where in spite of the 40 mile an hour speed limit, crossing the road to the beach and indeed walking along the pavement is already dangerous enough – see Annex  – A77 Driver Distraction – Substance of Objection and Research.