Welcome to the Lunan Valley Protection Group
Ecotricity,together with a local landowner, have submitted proposals to erect a wind farm at Dulater Hill (just south east of Loch Benachally above Butterstone / Forneth) consisting of 17 of the largest turbines, each measuring 125 metres from ground to blade tip.
The proposal is just big enough to go to Scottish Ministers for approval, (see Planning Rules) whether local groups, bodies such as Scottish National Heritage or Perth & Kinross Council object to the plans or not.
**(where you see text in a pale green font this means clicking on the word will take you to more information)
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Wildlife Trust, local community councils, ourselves and others objected to the original Ecotricity proposals in 2014.
THE LATEST INFORMATION AND HOW TO OBJECT"
Ecotricity have published a response to these concerns and objections, and the latest information on what is now being proposed, how to raise your concerns and who to send them to, click here. the 2015 addendum response to concerns
Deadline to voice your objections
The CURRENT deadline for submitting your objections (see Letters of Concern) is 14th August 2015 .
Local Community Councils, with whom we are working, and statutory bodies such as SNH, SEPA and Perth & Kinross Council have longer to submit their concerns. It is also possible that we may have a further chance to voice our concerns later in the year. If the Council and other statutory bodies object to the application, it will almost certainly go to a public inquiry later in the year.
There are two important surveys we would encourage you to take part in, you will find both by clicking here.
New on the Website
The Planning Approval Timetable will help to outline the consultation and possible Public Local Inquiry timings.
The Community Benefit Fund addition to the Ecotricity page outlines their proposals - which interestingly are headed "People Power". If local people have any power, we won't need to "host" their wind farm as they charmingly put it.
In News, new statistics show the dramatic increase in complaints to government and councils about wind farm applications.
An initial "scoping document" was presented by Ecotricity to the Scottish Government Energy Consent Team as part of the normal planning process, to generate comments that would inform the final proposals. A number of organisations responded and their comments were collected in a "Scoping Opinion" document in May 2013.
So far, and these are not final opinions yet, Perth & Kinross Council commented in their response to the scoping document
"Landscape Character – The site is located within Highland Perthshire and lies within the Highland Summit and Plateaux landscape character type (Tayside Landscape Character Assessment no 122 – SNH - TLCA). It is considered by the Council to be an area of high sensitivity to change. It can be noted that the TLCA, through its landscape guidelines, seeks to discourage the siting of tall structures in this area."
Scottish National Heritage (SNH) stated within their detailed response that:
"Dulater Hill is a very sensitive site, particularly from the perspective of landscape and visual impacts and development in this area raises particular landscape concerns that may be difficult to overcome. This is primarily owing to the proximity of the proposal to the River Tay (Dunkeld) National Scenic Area (NSA) and other wind farm developments and also its location and setting in relation to this part of the Highland Boundary Fault.......... Based on the information provided to date and the site constraints that we are currently aware of, SNH may object to the principle of wind farm development in this location. Our advice on any subsequent formal planning application will, however, take full account of the final proposal and information on landscape and visual impacts in an Environmental Statement."
Our Objectives - Could you support them?
It is by no means certain that this proposal will be accepted nor that it will be rejected, so if you live in or are concerned about the Lunan Valley, now is the time to act. If you agree with our objectives and feel able to support to them in some way, please contact us.
1) To persuade Scottish Government Ministers that the proposed wind farm should not be given permission to proceed for sound planning reasons.
2) To develop our arguments from expert groups looking at the main issues of Visual / Collective Visual Impact; Wildlife Impact; A9/A923\Road Impact.
3) To work alongside concerned organisations based in or interested in the Lunan Valley.
4) To generate informed discussion and support from local people.
What we are not
We are not a group campaigning for or against any form of energy generation. Other groups and organisations do that well and we have limited resources which must be focused.
We will be not for profit company with Gordon Howe and Jeremy Scuse (whose homes are shown on the map as Roughstones and Grimmstane respectively) as Directors.
4 special interest groups will look at specific arguments for planning rejection and are lead by the following people whose experience and enthusiasm is much appreciated. If you feel you can support their efforts please contact them directly.
1) Road Impact - Agnes Johnston
2) Wildlife Impact - David Merrie
How could you help?
At some point we will need volunteers to hand out information, contribute to funding professional presentations to any Public Enquiry and so on. In the short term you could make your concerns known to the people who can affect the decision to accept or reject the proposed wind farm. The three main planning arguments for rejecting these proposals that you could use in letters or emails are provided in drafts here Letters of Concern, together with the names, postal and email addresses of the people to send them to.
The website will have general and specific information on the main topics, plus the Ecotricity plans when they are published, our counter arguments and how you could help. We will also create template letters for you use in expressing your concerns, together with a list of who to write to.
Any ideas for contents of the website would be well received by Jeremy or via the Contact Us link.
Remember to always check at the bottom of each page where you may find links to downloadable documents (as .pdf files) which will be relevant to the topic. Some include refusals for wind farm applications, where the reasons make interesting reading.