I refer to the concerns raised by many regarding the proposed nine turbine 22.5 megawatt wind farm at Connachan Hill/Mull Hill.
It continues to put a great strain on residents in the area to yet again have to take action with another wind farm fight and it is time the planning systems were changed to stop Klondike-type wind farm operators seeking riches to the detriment of local residents and Scottish landscape.
If the wind farm were to go ahead it would provide very limited short-term employment, beyond that the benefit would not be to the community or indeed the country.
I understand in broad terms a typical wind farm costs around £1m per installed megawatt so in this instance that would presumably be in the region of £22m. This compares to a consumer and tax subsidy over the life of a wind farm of this type estimated at £3.5m per installed megawatt, (this is in excess of “normal” electricity costs) in this case consumer subsidies would amount to a staggering £79m.
The developer’s proposal of a community fund of £78,750 per annum is by contrast a trifling sum but the effect of tying in the Scottish consumer to inflated electricity prices for 25 years is to make the country ever less competitive and force more and more of its residents into fuel poverty.
There is a very clear Scottish planning guideline that states that the turbines should not be built within 2km of people’s homes yet time and time again the Scottish Government ignore their own guideline to the detriment of the health of residents where there are now proven health risks to anyone living within that distance. I believe there are some 10 homes in this category.
It is bizarre that the Scottish Government refuses to have nuclear primarily on health grounds yet are prepared to put at risk the health of Scottish residents to the benefit of non Scottish investors.
Finally how can a company whose latest accounts as filed with the Registrar of Companies show it to be owned by a husband and wife team based in Buckinghamshire with a registered office in London and shareholder funds of £41,000 be in a position to carry off a development with an estimated cost of in excess of £22m!
It is time for this government to get a grip on these unacceptable applications.
W G R Thomson
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