Here’s the pick of your Letters to the Editor, as published in the May 2 edition of The Buteman.
To have your say in our next edition on the issues raised below, or on any subject of interest to Bute, email your views to email@example.com. Please remember to include your postal address (house name/number and street name is fine) for publication with your letter.
Contradictions in pro-Union standpoint
I may be an Englishman living on the Isle of Bute, but when it comes to the referendum, I will be voting in favour of Scottish independence.
As far as I am concerned the ‘British Empire’ was in fact the English Empire, and we have since been gracious enough to hand most of it back to its rightful owners.
Every country deserves its own autonomy. For an English political party to say that it is good for the UK not to be fully integrated with Europe, but that it is good for Scotland to be fully integrated with England, is intellectually insulting.
For an English political party to say ‘we do not want Brussels making laws for our nation, but it is good for English parliament to make laws for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’, is embarrassingly incoherent.
For an English political party to say that if you have the temerity to want to determine your own future, we will not allow you to use ‘our’ English pound - well, I smell fear and hear Westminster furiously searching to find any threats they can that could be used to achieve a decision that helps England.
For an English political party to say that if you vote to split, we will withdraw all of our nuclear submarines from any Scottish bases, is akin to a child, unable to cope with the fact that he cannot have the sweets he wants, throwing his toys and thrashing around on the supermarket floor.
I say, good luck Scotland and if you want a hand rebuilding Hadrian’s wall from this side of the border, I am available on Thursday mornings.
Tim Chisholm, 67 Castle St, Port Bannatyne
Bachan Burn wind farm: the view from Dunoon
I hope that people on Bute are fully aware of the implications of an application which is pending for a massive windfarm, either for 15 x 145m (475’) turbines, or 20 x 110m turbines on the hills just south-west of Dunoon on Forestry Commission land.
The applicants, PNEwind, are calling it ‘Bachan Burn’, although a better name would
be Kilbride Hill wind farm. It would stretch on hill summits from Kilbride Hill south to Garrowchorran, above Innellan.
From their scant information, I see from their ZTV chart that all the giant turbines would be visible from the Ascog–Mount Stuart area on Bute, while 1-4 turbines would be visible from the Rothesay promenade, but with 5-12 visible from properties in higher positions.
I observe a groundswell of opposition here in south Cowal about this scheme, not least
since, if approved, a precedent could be set whereby many more giant turbines may be planned for the hills on Forestry Commission land (including Corlarach and Toward Hills) north of Rothesay Bay.
This would be despite the findings of two public inquiries just five years ago, which both found that siting of giant turbines in such sensitive landscape areas was entirely inappropriate – indeed contrary to local planning policies and national guidelines.
This time however the applicants insist their application will go straight to Scottish Ministers (also the owners of Forestry Commission Scotland) for determination, effectively sidelining Argyll and Bute Council.
I hope people on Bute will be alert to this potential threat to the wonderful land and seascapes which contribute so much to Bute’s attraction to tourists - and presumably matter greatly to many residents as well.
Philip Norris, Lyall Cliff, Alexandra Parade, Dunoon
Dunoon will be hit hard by wind farm plan
With reference to the recent article in The Buteman, reporting the view of Dunoon Community Council’s convener that Bute should seek to profit from the proposed Cowal wind farm (Bachan Burn), do the residents of Bute know the feelings of the residents of the Cowal area?
I haven’t had any community councillors asking the residents’ views, and they certainly haven’t asked me. So on whose authority is the convener of Dunoon Community Council speaking?
Cowal will lose its status as the water gateway to the National park, for tourists coming over on the ferries these turbines will be the biggest blot ever on the hillside.
Once we get these 15-20 turbines the precedent has been set and rest assured more will follow and when the hills are covered and our tourist trade has gone what will be left? Bute will also be looking at them as well.
Twice the sites Black Craig and Corlarach have been turned down as detrimental to the area. This new site overlaps the area, so why are they persisting?
In various articles that I have read they state the value of our property will be hit by anything from 11 per cent to more coming off the value, which means I and many other would be asking for my council tax to be re assessed, so that in turn means that the council will have less revenue to spend which means our services will be cut.
So the cash incentive is nullified, in fact the community will be worse off.
Marjorie Lowe, 28 Hillfoot Street, Dunoon
There’s plenty to do on Bute!
It seems to be a familiar phrase, “There’s nothing to do on Bute”. Well, we disagree!
During our two weeks of Easter activities, we found so many places to visit. We had a wonderful time at Ardbrannan Riding Centre where we took part in a lesson. We visited Zavaroni’s for ice cream, and hadlovely bus trips to Ettrick Bay and to the opposite end of the island for our lunch at Kingarth.
We also enjoyed an afternoon at the cinema and played putting.
We had a lovely time in the Skeoch Woods and used our local shops to buy our snacks. Our local bus company took us out for a lovely day at Mount Stuart grounds and we joined in with the Active Schools for sports activities.
The Pavilion were doing sessions for the indoor bouncy castle too, so lots of fun filled memories – all locally based.
We appreciate our island and the community – let’s help others to do the same.
Children from Apple Tree Nursery, Mackinlay Street, Rothesay