Questions are now been asked by wind industry organizations and forums in regards to the Argyll Arrays environmental sustainability…in a couple of days I will anounce who is asking.
Today I was asked to counter comment on the following SPR Iberdrola statement:…it is pertinent to the original post>
“ScottishPower Renewables is carrying out comprehensive surveys in the area to better understand the site including the marine ecology. This work is necessary for any proposed development and we’re happy to add to the growing information base particularly around Basking Sharks.”
“The survey activity is ongoing and when concluded the data will be evaluated and shared with all relevant stakeholders. This information will then shape the design of the windfarm and our future planning application for the Argyll Array.”
Our reply (NTA):
“ We understand that SNH and Exeter University are carrying out a parallel study of the area in regards to Basking Shark behavior and numbers. This study is part of a survey from Mull to Skye that will ascertain if the area will be accredited as MPA (Marine Protection Area), RSPB/HWDT & JNCC see this as a highly desirable…
The Scottish and UK government have an obligation to the EU to protect areas of least damaged/most natural importance (NIMA)…in much the same way as they have a commitment to reduce co2 output.
It is more than fair to assume given the data already acquired, which includes behavior, numbers, gender and size; that the area is used for courtship as well as feeding.
Broaching of the sharks, tailing, parallel swimming are all indicative of courtship…and have been observed on mass within and throughout, the proposed array location.
Numbers observed in the current survey and historically observed within the proposed windfarm array location far exceeded earlier expectations, and as such the area is a primary if not the primary location for courtship within UK inshore waters.(edit:primary or secondary will be ascertained upon completion but the outlook looks more than faourable)
The Basking Shark is protected by law:
Basking Sharks are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000), the Northern Ireland Wildlife Order (1985) and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004). These Acts make it illegal to intentionally kill, injure or recklessly disturb or harass Basking Sharks in British waters. Any person committing such an offence could face up to 6 months in prison and a large fine.
Internationally, Basking Sharks are listed under CITES Appendix II, CMS Appendix I and II and UNCLOS Annex I.
The protection afforded the Basking Sharks could not be more relevant than when it is applied to breeding activities.
Given the protection laws applicable to the species, it will be impossible to mitigate disturbance caused by construction activities during the sharks visiting months. (Late April to end of September). The remaining weather window September to April is the storm period and it is hard to see how any form of major maritime construction could take place.
This point is all the more pertinent given that the same area is occupied by the internationally protected Great Northern Diver through from October to mid March…in this species case, it is already known (JNNC) that the proposed array area contains the largest concentration of this over wintering species in Europe…approximately 40% of the UK population and 9% of the European population. Again , this species is protected from “deliberate disturbance or harassment.” If a species is known to exist in an area and, is protected under such laws…to enter into the area and disturb the species falls under the “deliberate harassment” clause.
May I also add that other species are too at risk and that the two above are but the visible tip of the iceberg…other species will be presented as and when we or government bodies see fit.
You may find this link of some use: http://www.sharktrust.org/content.asp?did=27433
SPR are in the process of paving the way for commercial industrialization (Note: the site is not necessary for Scotland to meet its co2 reduction targets)
SNH are paving the way for legacy environmental management and protection (Note: this location is necessary, given available data for Scotland to meet it’s EU conservation targets)
The two surveys could not be more diametrically opposite.
If you need more info please drop me a line.
All the very best
FYI Karl (NTA)
Karl Hughes also commented
RS: So you are saying it is important to be precise ??? The wind power companies are not capable of producing accurate images or visualisations, and they are multi million/billion $ industries….? not one of the SR, not one of them…is it simply that they feel aesthetics are not important…or is it that they realise that aesthetics are so important to the folk who have to live with mega industrial sites…with a surface area many times larger than any coal/nuke or gas powerstations and in areas that are not already industrialised will not be accepted by the majority… so with a bit of jiggery’pokery they LIE ? and the SNP SG not only accept and support but actually advise these behmoth companies TO LIE !!!
On a lighter note: Ref Scotsman “Panda declines cake on first Scottish birthday”…whereas we all know, two Pandas wee eck would want all of the cake…birthday or not. Seems to me humble pie will be on the menu soon enough.
Like the above link RS ????
- Moray windfarm’s potential impact ‘being played down’
The Press and Journal 24 August 2012 ~~
Members of a Moray community group have claimed the firm behind plans for a controversial windfarm are “playing down” its potential impact.
Representatives of Innes Community Council have produced a 15-page document on proposals for the 19-turbine development at Brown Muir, three miles outside Rothes, off the A941 Elgin to Rothes road.
The public have until August 31 to lodge representations to the proposals, which have been tabled by German firm Vento Ludens. A petition against the project has attracted hundreds of signatures. Due to its scale, the plans have been submitted to the Scottish Government rather than Moray Council.
Innes Community Council’s report highlights a raft of issues.
It criticises online documents published as part of the planning application, claiming they “do not give full and proper information on every stage of the development and construction of the site nor the full decommissioning programme”.
It claims the reports of the plans are “of poor quality”.
Community councillors said they were also concerned that Vento Ludens had not explained what would happen to peat being moved from Brown Muir, or given detail on the carbon footprint of construction vehicles.
The report adds: “No mention is made of views from the A96 AberdeenInverness road, especially that part between Fochabers and Elgin.” It also claims thatdiagrams in the planning application are “not accurate”.
“In our opinion the consultants for the developer have used their photography and writing skills to play down how big an impact this development will have on the landscape and skyline of the northern portion of Moray,” the report adds.
Community councillors also voiced concerns about the heavy concentration of wind turbines in Moray and Aberdeenshire, the impact on wildlife, and any permanent scarring which could be left on the hillside after the development.
Dr Jay Butler, of Vento Ludens, said last night:“We have taken careful note of Innes Community Council’s representation to the Scottish Government and will review the comments made in full and provide a detailed response to the ScottishGovernmentas the planning authority for this application.
“In the meantime, we would wish to emphasise the exhaustive process of preparation and pre-application consultation our application has gone through prior to submission and the great care we have taken to ensure the application complies with all relevant guidance and best practice.”
Karl: The spin, greenwash &corruption of the facts is obviously totally in line with the current SG new guidelines…if it wasnt so blatant and desperate it would be laughable.
Just give me one example of an open and transparent foreign wind energy company set on industrialising our wilder places…?
- The rapid spread of wind turbines across Scotland could accelerate, after SNP ministers issued new guidance promising a ‘smoother’ planning process.
A new ‘good practice guide’ has been developed as part of a Scottish Government-led project, containing tips about how to overcome opposition to the schemes.
Ministers say the guidance is designed to ‘make planning applications for wind energy developments run more smoothly’.
It includes a section on ‘optimising social acceptance’, which features advice on how to communicate the benefits of any scheme to the local community.
Campaigners say the document is the latest attempt by the SNP to ‘fast-track’ new wind farms as quickly as it can, to help achieve its green energy targets.
Fears have been raised that a smoother process will benefit developers at the expense of local communities, where there are concerns about the impact that the spread of unsightly wind turbines will have on Scotland’s countryside.
Susan Crosthwaite, chairman of the Communities Against Turbines Scotland pressure group, said: ‘This is a huge concern because they are putting pressure on planning departments and councils to make more areas available and push things through. The whole system is being pushed in the developer’s favour.
‘The Scottish Government is pressurising all the councils about passing more wind turbines and the sad thing is it will push more people into fuel poverty and it’s all for nothing.
‘The Scottish Government put out its renewables route map for consultation earlier this year and we found it to be a wanting document. They are pushing out all these things to try to fast track them but they are not making sure the environmental i mpact work and ground works are done properly and it will lead them into a lot of trouble.’
The guidance has been issued following the Good Practice Wind Project, an EU-funded scheme that was led by the Scottish Government and looked at how to address the barriers to wind energy development in order to meet targets aimed at increasing the amount of renewable energy produced in Scotland.
The Good Practice Guide urges developers to take part in ‘effective, meaningful and early communication’ about new schemes.
It recommends promoting the features of a wind farm that are attractive to tourists, such as a visitor centre, as ‘an original way of contributing to the optimisation of social acceptance’.
The SNP has previously been criticised f or ordering all councils to set aside more land suitable for wind farm developments. Already, up to a third of some council areas have been earmarked for wind turbines.
Scottish Tory energy spokesman Mary Scanlon said: ‘While it is welcome that the Scottish Government wants a planning system which runs smoothly for all, at some stage developers and communities will disagree, and it is not clear how this will be overcome.
‘Other than reiterate its ambitious renewable energy target, the SNP has not said what it will do to ease the fears of communities across the country. Guidance may be useful but the fact is the SNP wants to continue developing wind farms across Scotland, often in the face of strong local opposition.
‘Spinning the facts to make it sound positive is not a solution.’
The SNP Government is desperate for more turbines to help it achieve its target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs coming from green energy by 2020. But opponents say it is focusing too much on onshore wind and not enough on offshore wind and other renewable energy types.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: ‘I’m delighted to launch these materials, which aim to make the planning process for wind developments go more smoothly for everyone involved.
‘The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places and this guidance will help to ensure that – while also making sure there are fewer unsuitable applications and that communities are properly consulted and informed.
‘We have set an ambitious, but achievable, renewable energy target and we are determined to ensure that communities all over Scotland benefit from our renewable energy revolution, which is already bringing jobs and investment.
‘But we are determined that this should be done in a sustainable way, sympathetic to the needs of communities and protecting the environment and our f antastic natural heritage.
‘This project supports our drive to promote engagement with communities from the very beginning of a plan’s development.’
Walk the talk Alex…Walk the talk Fergus
- I think I covered that by with this comment…” if they were in the uk ” …I never said they were in the UK.
The thing is some people are now without jobs. (it doesn’t matter where they are)..just as sad as the folks in Argyll who do not have jobs (heather company)same as the folks that were laid off in Campbell Town after the ongoing saga with turbines there too.
Hopefully the folks from Vesta will find other fabrication work…
Anyway Malcolm you are chasing something thhat is not of relevance to the original article….
As for answering emails….you sent me a screen capture of a comment I made, somwhere further up on this page…no question was asked…if it was (?) please ask me again…given I can get 50 plus a day on my private email and around a 100 or so here at work I answer my emails by priority, I always answer my emails if there is something to answer.
Recent comments by Karl Hughes
- Patron of Northern Lighthouse Board incredulous at Tiree Array proposal
Why do you have to be a Rich Nimby ?….I am quite happy been a nimby without any financial stickers applied.
- Patron of Northern Lighthouse Board incredulous at Tiree Array proposal
I have heard that the main developer…can’t remember if it is Vattna or the likes is looking at now selling its 75% share in the development proposal…
I don’t have the info to hand…but a search around on the web might shine more light on mr Trumps smarmy grin…
- Patron of Northern Lighthouse Board incredulous at Tiree Array proposal
Frankly, I don’t care about Princess Anne’s status in society…that she drives a 4 x4 , Sails, rides horses etc, etc, What I care about is that she has spoke up against inappropriate industrialisation of a beautiful place, the destruction of a least damaged most natural environment…yet another nail in the Argyll Array farce, hopefully this white elephant will soon be consigned to knackers yard.
Some things are worth fighting for…and I am sincerely thankfull that HRH has vented her disaproval for the Argyll aka Tiree Array.
I note with equal glee that The Islay array has also now been put on hold…and that Mr Trump is now also happily laughing his cashmere socks off at the slow collapse of the Aberdeen inshore wind farm proposal…all good news.
- Islay Array offshore wind farm put back to Q4 2014
One has to wonder just how much public time and taxpayers money has already been wasted on these white elephants ?
It is a sad state of affairs that only following continual pressure from NTA that MS and other quangos are willing to enter into any form of the often mentioned “transparent public consultations” process…
- Troubling responses to the death of Margaret Thatcher
What was illegal was the violence…on both sides. policing techniques have changed, some might say for the worse…some might say for the better…I would say that given the amount of instant video now (mobiles/tablets even the plague of CCTV) that this helps combat or at least catch guilty parties…again on both sides. But ask yourself was this really a Thatcher era legacy or simply evolution of policing and rioting…demonstrating.
It’s common place to see police officers with Heckler & Kochs in our streets and airports, Central Station, etc…was this a Thatcher era legacy ? no…again its an evolution of policing for our safety (so we are told)
I hope whoever wishes to express their feelings tomorrow does it peacefully…
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