A campaign has been launched to have plans for a near 80-metre tall wind turbine outside a Greenock factory blown off course.
The newly-formed Inverclyde Wind Turbine Monitoring Group are piling pressure on Texas Instruments to scrap a proposal for the structure outside its Larkfield Industrial Estate HQ.
Company chiefs have applied for full planning permission for the turbine, which would measure 77.8 metres in height – over 250-feet.
They say it would help to ‘significantly increase’ the amount of ‘greener’ electricity the site uses, and reduce costs.
But protesters are alarmed that the structure would be seen across Inverclyde, including from beauty spots like Gourock Golf Club, Battery Park and Lyle Hill, and from across the water.
Illustrations and official documents attached to the application also confirm that it would be visible from Levan Farm, Trumpethill, Midton and parts of Braeside and Larkfield.
Campaigners say the turbine will be visible to incoming cruise ship passengers heading to Ocean Terminal too.
So far, the application has attracted four objections.
Gourock man Ronnie Gormley, from the pressure group, says residents have serious concerns.
He said: “The application was advertised just before Christmas and we fear it has slipped under the radar of most people in the district.
“It is likely to be determined around the end of this month, so time is short.
“As you sail into New York you have the wonderful Statue of Liberty. Into Rio you have the wonderful statue of Christ the Redeemer. Into Cape Town you have the spectacular Table Mountain.
“Unfortunately as we sail into Greenock it appears we are to be confronted with beautiful hillsides desecrated by wind turbines.”
But Texas Instruments say the move is a positive one.
A spokeswoman said: “The Greenock site continues to look at ways of minimising our impact on the environment as well as reducing our costs to remain competitive.
“The installation of a wind turbine will help us significantly increase the amount of greener electricity we produce to cover the power needs of this site.”
But campaigners believe the turbine would produce ‘incessant’ noise and create a shadow flicker – a strobe light effect – from the revolving blades.
They say it would be located directly above Moorfoot Primary School.
Mr Gormley said: “It will have a major impact on the landscape setting of Gourock and Greenock.
“It will dominate the skyline above the town and have a major impact on thousands of residents, will be seen from as far away as Dunoon and Kilcreggan and dominate the skyline from Loch Thom, Gourock west and all the way round to Lyle Hill and the Battery Park.”
A decision on the planning application will be made at a later date.
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