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Lanark and Carluke windfarm plans under attack  

Credit:  by George Topp, Lanark & Carluke, www.hamiltonadvertiser.co.uk 23 June 2011 ~~

A planned windfarm between Lanark and Carluke could be a risk because it is to be built over old mineworkings.

This is the claim from members of a protest group trying to block plans by Energy4All Scotland.

The Cumbrian-based company want to erect two 400ft high wind turbines at Cartland Muir.

Locals have already claimed the massive turbines will be taller than the Statue of Liberty and a blot on the landscape for residents in Lanark, Cartland, Braidwood and Carluke.

Now, with the plans being considered by South Lanarkshire Council, members of the Stop Clyde Valley Wind Farm group claim the project will be built on underground workings, which could cause stability problems.

Protestors, fighting under the “Too Big, Too Close, Too Noisy” banner, said this week that the plans must be turned down by councillors.

A spokesman said the local community had already expressed their mass opposition to the development due to concerns on the visual impact combined with health and safety fears including noise pollution and shadow flicker – a strobing effect from turbine blades blocking out the sun.

He claimed: “The developer has confirmed that local housing will be blighted by shadow flicker. Now, there are fears of potential collapse of the turbines or structural problems which may occur to local housing due to vibrations which may be caused by the 45m long blades to the turbines.”

A report by the applicant’s own the developer’s mining consultants, DLM Mining Consultants Ltd stated that the “area has been extensively mined” and that “mineral support conditions are considered suspect”, he added.

Objectors say the turbines, 100ft taller than the Statue of Liberty, will be prominently visible from much of Lanarkshire – and the developer’s own assessment shows they would theoretically be visible from as far away as Glasgow.

“They will spoil part of a designated ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’ enjoyed by thousands of tourists and locals alike – The Clyde Valley. It is akin to building a wind farm on the edge of a National Park with the associated destruction on wildlife and nature,” he added.

However, Paul Phare, the applicant’s Scottish Development Manager, disputes the protestors’ claims.

He said if planning permission is granted, detailed intrusive ground investigations would take place and these would dictate the design of the turbine foundations to ensure safety.

The consultant’s study had concluded the risk was ‘low’ and Scottish Coal had provided written confirmation that they were happy with the consultant’s report.

Protestors had based their claims on an earlier report by consultants, and had not taken into account a more recent one, he added.

Dealing with “shadow flicker” he said: “The worst affected property will experience no more than 13 hours per year, and it will certainly not block out the sun as suggested. We have explained to the community that if this becomes a problem then the turbines can be switched off during the affected periods which only occur when the sun is low in the sky and at certain times of the year.”

Protestors claim the only people benefiting are the applicants and the landowner, a London investor, who could earn £1.5 million if the scheme goes ahead.

They recently held a ‘Cartland and Kilncadzow Fun Day,’ featuring a tug of war between the two villages, and music provided by well known county folk band ‘Haggerdash’.

That event raised more than £2,000 to help fund their fight, with more protest fund raisers planned.

Source:  by George Topp, Lanark & Carluke, www.hamiltonadvertiser.co.uk 23 June 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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