Gateside residents were shocked to discover that a planning application had been submitted for a 147ft wind turbine 500 metres behind their homes.
Residents have organised a hasty stand against the proposal and 25 homeowners turned up to show their support when the group met with Councillor Danny Devlin on Saturday (March 23).
Residents fear that the turbine could have a catastrophic effect on local wildlife and the beauty of the surrounding area, and have also raised concerns over “low frequency noise” generated by turbines that has been linked to health issues.
Barry Kergon, from Killoch Farm located just 400 metres from the proposed site said: “When I first seen the application I was in disbelief that someone could consider putting something like that on the edge of a country park, within half a mile of 100 or more properties.
“You seldom see them as a solitary turbine and they seem to come in clusters so I fear that we can expect more in the future.
“I would like to see it re-sited to somewhere not so close to the properties or the country park.”
Residents converged on the home of Douglas Junner, 46, on Gateside Road to discuss their plan of action. Douglas lives in the home with his wife, Lesley, 36, and three children aged 11, nine and seven.
He said: “We came here as a married couple and have had three children in this house, we chose here because of the rural outlook and that’s why we moved here.
“We are most worried about the noise and we have read a lot about the low frequency hum that is created by the turbines, we have read about schools in England being shut because of the low frequency noise caused by nearby windfarms and it has been affecting children.”
Medical research has yet to directly link low frequency noise with medical conditions.
Barrhead councillor Danny Devlin said: “We have to make sure that this does not become a full blown wind-farm development on the brae, ruining the natural beauty of the area”
“These turbines ruin the environment and this is a nationwide issue that is starting to become a real problem around our town as more turbine developments spring up around the town.
“This will be one that we have to watch in future.”
Douglas added: “We haven’t been consulted and we only found out about it by accident, and we are also worried about the local wildlife, swans and heron live on the nearby dam and the turbine would be right in their flightpath.”
Owner of Woodneuk Farm, the company behind the application, William Thomson, 78, responded to resident’s concerns.
He said: “We have tried to pick the site very carefully, we didn’t want it to be silhouetted above the hill because then it could be seen for miles, and we have tried to situate it far enough away that homes shouldn’t be affected by the noise, and it will still have to pass the noise tests.
“It is in a position where we get good wind but it isn’t intrusive and it can be used to enhance the access to the area for walkers, as the track to the site already exists but has become overgrown in recent years.”
It is believed that the turbine would be connected to the national grid and generate additional income for the farm – it is not clear when the application would go before East Renfrewshire Council’s Planning Committee.