Bute community council to oppose Cowal turbine plan

An artist's impression, provided by the Save Cowal Hills protest group, of what the view from Inverkip might be like should the PNE Wind development at Bachan Burn' go ahead.
An artist's impression, provided by the Save Cowal Hills protest group, of what the view from Inverkip might be like should the PNE Wind development at Bachan Burn' go ahead.

Bute Community Council is to lend its support to efforts to block a proposed wind farm on the south Cowal hills, directly north of Rothesay Bay.

BCC members agreed this week to stand alongside their counterparts in Dunoon, who are fiercely opposed to the planned development by PNE Wind UK, a subsidiary of a German wind farm developer, which is working in partnership with the Forestry Commission on a site at Bachan Burn.

PNE Wind’s proposals have yet to be the subject of a formal planning application, although a December 2013 ‘scoping report’ stated that two development options would be suitable for the site - one with 20 turbines, each 110 metres tall, and the other featuring 15 turbines, each 145m in height.

The scale of either development would be such that any application would go straight to the Scottish Government for a decision, rather than to Argyll and Bute Council, which refused two applications for smaller wind farm developments on the south Cowal hills in 2008 and 2009 on the grounds of unacceptable visual impact.

Community council member Martin Catlin said: “It’s completely out of proportion, and not a community venture. That’s why I would support any objection.”