Planning Alerts

A turbine, a hostel, some workshops a-and housing …

… to be sung to the tune of “The Bonny Ash Grove”.

Here we go again. The EP Newsroom hacks have received some documents containing information of which fellow islanders need to be made aware.

From these documents it emerges that Eilean Eisdeal have engaged a Planning Consultant, Suzanne McIntosh (paid for out of charitable funds?) to press Argyll & Bute planners to amend the Local Development Plan (LDP) to accommodate their desire for development on the island, based on their “Masterplan”.

“What Masterplan??” we hear you ask.

Well, apparently, Eilean Eisdeal are “undertaking a Masterplanning exercise with the island’s community”.

Oh really?

To our knowledge (and we’ve been here a good while), the so-called “Masterplan” was dreamed up by Mike MacKenzie when he was an EE director, and is based solely on an informal questionnaire done in 1997, before EE was formally constituted. Yes … 1997 … 15 years ago. There remains a very small core of residents from that time, but since then more than 100 people have come – lived hre for a while – and gone. NOT any sort of a “mandate” for a “Masterplan”, then.

As regards any sort of “Masterplanning exercise”, we recall perhaps three meetings where those persent were TOLD what was going to happen.

Remember the meeting where the Dualchas architect lady had been sacked, and the discussion was “facilitated” by the aggressive John Campbell QC?

Remember Jim Mather’s barmy “mind-mapping” exercise, headed up by Mellon? Whatever happened to that?

Remember the meeting where the new and innocent architect Waseem presented us with hostel schemes? Did we want a big one, a medium sized one or a small one? NOT did we actually want a hostel at all??

Anyway, to cut to the chase, CLICK HERE to view the notes of EE’s and their Planning Consultant’s meeting with Argyll &  Bute Council planning officers. Not an easy read because of all the abbreviations, but please follow it through, focussing on the keywords in the title of this post.

And CLICK HERE to see how EE’s Planning Consultant is attempting to manipulate the Local Plan.

The documents you see here were apparently obtained under a Freedom of Information request.

Question. If Eilean Eisdeal purports to be acting on behalf of islanders, why is it that islanders can only find out what they’re up to invoking Freedom of Information?

Clachan Windfarm

The application for the Clachan Windfarm has now been submitted, and  is for:

“Windfarm comprising of 9 wind turbines (77 metres to blade tip), construction compound, substation, formation of access tracks and ancillary works”

 The application number is 11/02447/PP.

If you’d like to comment, go to “Planning and the Environment” the Argyll & Bute Council website, click on “Find and comment on a planning application”, then on “Simple search”. Type in the application number and, when the details come up, click on “Make a public comment”.

If you want to view the application itself click on the “Documents” tab, then on “View associated documents”. Click on the double right-hand arrow at the top of the window, and the application form etc. are at the bottom.

Comments can also be made by post to:

Richard Kerr, Principal Planning Officer, Argyll and Bute Council, Dalriada House, Lochnell Street, Lochgilphead, PA31 8ST.

Wind turbine refusal appealed

Eilean Eisdeal have appealed to the Scottish Government against Argyll & Bute Council’s refusal of their planning application for a wind turbine on the island. The details of the Appeal can be found HERE.

Document 5 “Green Streets Report by Solar and Wind applications” makes arresting reading. Link to it HERE.

According to the recent report on the Green Streets projects published by the INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH, Eilean Eisdeal is stated to be a “community-led (bottom-up)” organisation. One must therefore ask why they have felt it necessary to engage the services of John Campbell QC as their agent to handle the Appeal.

A Reporter has yet to be appointed, but we have been advised that any objections/representations sent to A&BC will be forwarded to the DPEA (Directorate for Planning & Environmental Appeals) and taken into consideration by the Reporter when deciding the Appeal. All those who sent in representations should receive a letter from the planning authority advising that an Appeal has been lodged and further representations may be made within 14 days.

Electrifying

Dear neighbours,

Here is an update on the self-styled community group’s project to electrify the pirate ship in the children’s playpark (see earlier post “Eilean Eisdeal meets Cap’n Jack Sparrow”). We publish the picture of the proposal again, for interest and accuracy.

You will note that solar panels are to be placed on the roof to power lights in tubs of coloured water, and generated electricity is to be used to power motion sensors which would activate lights and ghostly sounds. An aeolian harp will be activated by our powerful winds.

But the intention to place a wind turbine with a rotor diameter of 1m on top of the “mast” must surely rank as one of the most irresponsible proposals ever?

This type of turbine does not have an automatic brake, and when the wind blows fiercely the blades turn ever faster until they tear out of their fixings and are thrown with great force a considerable distance.

The whole proposal would prove to be a constant irritation to islanders and visitors alike; but, more seriously, it would be a source of danger to all, especially the children. An enterprising child could shin up the mast as a dare – with potentially fatal consequences. This proposal introduces both noise and light pollution.

We understand that this proposal requires planning permission. To date none has been applied for, but the wind turbine and some other equipment have already been delivered and are in the hall.

If you have concerns about this proposal please make them known, especially to the planning officer for our area whose email address is:

fiona.scott@argyll-bute.gov.uk

You may also wish to make your views known to the Green Streets “project team” (who we understand are Keren Cafferty, Jan Fraser, Mike MacKenzie and architect Waseem Hussain).

Your opinions matter!

Henry

No consolation

A small item in last week’s Oban Times gives more than a suggestion that another planning application for a wind turbine might be in the offing:

(Did you spot the uncannily apt Oban Times typo in para 5??)

Decisions, decisions

At its meeting yesterday (20th April) the Planning, Protective Services & Licensing Committee confirmed the planners’ recommendations as follows:

Application no. 10/01729/PP : Installation of air source heat pump and 14 solar pv panels, Easdale Island Hall – APPROVED subject to conditions.

Application no. 10/02000/PP : Erection of 6 kw wind turbine, Easdale Island – REFUSED.

Recommended for refusal

The planners have recommended refusal for planning application no. 10/02000/PP, erection of 6kw wind turbine on Easdale Island. The recommendation will go forward to a Planning, Protective Services & Licensing Committee meeting in mid-April.

Oh dear …

This is what was left of a Proven 6kW wind turbine after two springs broke from one rotor blade and one spring broke from the other two blades. The springs were thrown so far that they couldn’t be found. The same thing has apparently happened before.

More balloon fun

The wind turbine as it would appear from:

a) Ellenabeich

b) by the museum 'phone box (the fog was caused by Alex burning rubbish!)

Shadow/flicker data

A) Below is an extract from the report on the quantitative data which was collected on 19th January by Mike Armstrong (a certificated RYA/DoT Yachtmaster Ocean).

“The purpose of this report is to ascertain if there will be any shadow flicker on the above property’s, it is my intention to use the US Naval Observatory Sun’s altitude and Azimuth tables.

Test sun sights were taken with regards these tables for planning application 10/01422/PP (this was the previous wind turbine application which was withdrawn) they were found to be very accurate.

The test Sun Sights will be added to this report.

“Reference datum

The planning application states that the height of the Wind turbine from the base is 17.75Meters and the diameter of the wind turbine is 5.5meters.

“It is therefore proposed to triangulate the angle to the top of the proposed wind turbine from the base of the house, this will be known as ( A), then triangulate from the gutter line of the houses ( this is 2.5Meters above floor level) to the bottom of the proposed turbine blade, the blade being 5.5 meters diameter, this will be dimension (B).

“we also need to get the Horizontal angles from the houses to the proposed turbine blade to complete the shadow flicker window. This is important because these houses face south east, therefore the sun will be rising and also tracking Westerly at the same time.

On the 19th of January datum poles were put at the location of the proposed wind turbine and set 5.5Meters apart, this represents the Wind Turbine blade outside Diameter, by doing this it has enabled me to get the bearings necessary to complete the Shadow flicker windows for the property’s concerned.

“Method

Using a hand bearing compass with your back to the house, get the bearing from the left side of the house to the right side of the turbine blade (D), and then the right side of the house to the left side of the turbine blade (C) .

“Once we have A,B,C,and D bearings , it’s possible to work out the dates and times shadow flicker will occur on each house (if any)”

The results obtained for number of days that each property would be affected were as follows:

No. 101

28th January to 1st March                –           33 days

12th October to 16th November       –           36 days

= a total of 69 days throughout the year

No. 28

14th January to 11th February        –           28 days

1st November to 28th November    –           28 days

= a total of 56 days throughout the year

No. 13b

20th December to 25th January      –           37 days

18th November to 19th December  –           32 days

= a total of 69 days throughout the year

No. 13a

20th December to 22nd January     –           34 days

21st November to 19th December  –           29 days

= a total of 63 days throughout the year

No. 14a

20th December to 30th January      –           42 days

11th November to 19th December  –           39 days

= a total of 81 days throughout the year

These data, and the calculations from which they were derived, have been submitted to the Argyll & Bute Council and the full report can be viewed HERE.

Document no. 20471257

Note: Quantititative data =  ‘hard’, measurable, verifiable data.

________________________________________________________________________

B) Below is an extract from the information submitted to Argyll & Bute Council by Argyle Architecture Ltd.

“The information below presents a qualitative assessment of the potential effects of shadow flicker from the proposed turbine.

“Shadow flicker can be caused by the rotation of the turbine blades when the sun is shining that creates a flickering or strobe effect if viewed through a restricted space such as small or partially curtained windows. It can result in disturbance to people living close to turbines. The likelihood (and duration) of any shadow flicker from turbines is often low as it depends on a number of factors including:

  • the location of any dwellings;
  • their orientation and angles to the sun;
  • the direction of the property relative to the turbine(s). In the UK only properties within 130 degrees either side of north relative to a turbine can be affected as it has been shown that turbines do not cast shadows to their southern side see attached reference document p .176 & 177
  • the proximity of any property to the turbine (typically less than 10 rotor diameters from the proposals see attached reference document p. 176 & 177); and
  • the interactions between the above.

“Shadow flicker does not occur when the sun is obscured by cloud, fog or by intervening objects; when the turbine is not operating; or when the rotor is turned parallel to a line between the receptor and turbine.

“In regard to this turbine in the proposed location, all residential dwelling(s) are out with the specified zone (10 x Rotor Diameter) therefore shadow flicker is not deemed to have a significant impact.”

The full document can be viewed on the Argyll & Bute Council webiste via the link above. Document no. 20473942.

Note: Qualitative data = ‘soft’ descriptive data that approximates but does not measure attributes, properties etc.