Villagers in Rhu have opposed a proposed five turbine wind farm – because they believe any cash generated by the project will not be spent in the village.
Community forum, Save our Rhu Bay, has been providing the community with information on the proposed Helensburgh Wind Farm, and organisers say it has been inundated with objections to the turbines, which if given the green light, would be built with in the Rhu and Shandon Community Council boundary at Tom na h-Airidh hill.
Save our Rhu Bay, was set up last year by Alistair Moore on Facebook, and has since become a site for the local community providing news, general awareness, covering topical issues, and activities.
The group claims it has collected 177 letters of objection to the five-turbine wind farm, which it will hand over to Argyll and Bute Council as formal objections.
According to Save Our Rhu Bay, villagers are ‘up in arms’ about the turbines being built with in the Rhu boundary because any money generated from the turbines will go to the people of Helensburgh through the Development Trust – and not the people of Rhu.
A spokesman said: “Thus far the general consensus of opinion is that the majority are against the wind farm consisting of five large tall turbines.
“Disappointingly, no consultation was considered or undertaken with our Rhu and Shandon community before a plan was put in place, and in addition the Rhu and Shandon residents have expressed displeasure with this being called ‘Helensburgh Wind Farm’.
“This allows Helensburgh to collect the financial benefits (if any) from the wind farm, which seems highly unfair. A recurring, strong viewpoint is that if permission were to be granted, would this encourage further wind farms around our hills?
“Therefore, we have to question do we really want to see wind turbines all over our beautiful, much admired hills and unspoiled countryside?”
More than 150 objections to the proposals have also been lodged on Argyll and Bute Council’s website so far, with only a few in favour, whilst a poll organised by Rhu and Shandon Community Council revealed last week showed 89 per cent of people were against the £7.5m plans.
However, Helensburgh Renewables, which is behind the project with Luss Estates and Green Cat Renewables, would welcome Rhu and Shandon residents to join the Development Trust and play a role in handing out any funds generated by the wind farm.
A spokeswoman for Helensburgh Renewables said: “Generating an estimated £4 million worth of benefits for local projects, Helensburgh Community Wind Farm is an investment in the future, harnessing renewable energy to create a secure, long-term funding source to be invested in local initiatives selected by community representatives.
“As previously suggested, Rhu and Shandon residents are very welcome to join the Development Trust and participate in the distribution of the funds generated by this once-in-a-generation opportunity.
“Helensburgh Renewables would positively welcome this, and we hope that our neighbours in Rhu and Shandon will join the people of Helensburgh in carefully considering the detail of our proposals and the very real benefits it would bring to the town itself, and cumulatively, to the wider area.”
You can comment on the wind farm on the council’s planning website, by searching ref no 14/01674/PP.
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