Ascog wind farm plan: objections mount up

Proposals for three wind turbines at Ascog farm have provoked an angry response.
Proposals for three wind turbines at Ascog farm have provoked an angry response.

A week after an application for three wind turbines at Ascog farm on Bute was published, the reaction from the public has been largely negative.

So far 15 people have contacted Argyll and Bute Council to object to the proposal for three turbines, each 74 metres in height from ground to blade tip.

One, Paul McTaggart, stated in his submission: “As an angler on Loch Ascog for almost 30 years I strongly object to this application due to the visual impact it will coil [sic] will have. This will undoubtedly affect tourism too.

“I also do a lot of birdwatching and the area has always supported buzzards and wintering geese. We also now have a pair of ospreys that feed in the area of Loch Ascog and this development could be detrimental to the success of these birds.

“I sincerely hope the council see sense and reject this application.”

Another objector, Mr Darryl Campbell, said: “I will be totally against this. They think they can just build them on Rothesay because no one cares about Bute but the residents do and we all should make a stance and make sure these damm [sic] eyesores don’t be buit [sic] on Bute. Take them elsewhere, there [sic] not wanted.”

Angus Middleton, in his submission, stated: “I strongly object to the proposed erection of three wind turbines at Ascog Farm.

“This unreliable source of renewable energy has already become a huge blot on the landscape of many parts of Scotland. To even consider the erection of these three 74m high monstrosities on the Isle of Bute beggars belief.

“At 74 metres they would be completely out of proportion to, and at odds with, the surrounding countryside. The Isle of Bute is home to many species of birds and plays host to a large number of migrant species too, these and the resident populations of bats will be devastated if the proposal is allowed to go ahead.

“Finally, what of our already dwindling tourist industry? Personally the last thing I would want to be near whilst on holiday is a wind farm and this one would dominate the island from almost every vantage point.

“The beauty of Bute is our greatest asset, let’s preserve it for future generations and not succumb to trendy instant unproven technology.”

According to a non-technical summary of the proposal, the Ascog project has received a loan from the Community and Renewables Energy Scheme (CARES), partially under-writing the pre-development costs of the scheme such as the compiling of an environmental impact assessment.

The CARES scheme is administered by Community Energy Scotland on behalf of government, and if planning permission is granted the loan is repaid to benefit another local project.

In the case of the Ascog scheme it is proposed to give a minimum of £10,000 per megawatt of installed capacity per year for 20 years to the Towards Zero Carbon Bute project, which is part of Fyne Futures, a subsidiary of local housing association Fyne Homes.

So far the only representation in support of the project has come from the applicant himself, Adrian Tear.

In a letter to the council Mr Tear says: “I welcome this application for three wind turbines at Ascog Farm, Isle of Bute.

“The renewable wind energy project proposed has the potential to power a great many homes on Bute, offset a substantial amount of CO2 and will also, through partnership with Towards Zero Carbon Bute – provide benefits to the community for years to come.”

* To view the Ascog application online, just click on the link to the right of this article, which will take you to the appropriate page on Argyll and Bute Council’s website.

When you get there, to submit your views on the application just click on the ‘Make A Public Comment’ option; to read the opinions published so far, click on the ‘Documents’ tab and then on ‘View associated documents’.