Here’s this week’s crop of readers’ letters, as published in the June 12 edition of The Buteman.
To add your voice to the debate on any local issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Monday at the latest - although please remember that the sooner we hear from you, the better are your chances of seeing your thoughts in print!
All letters must be accompanied by the writer’s name and postal address for publication. We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check anything at short notice, though this will not be printed.
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Wind power is at saturation level
Today (June 4) I finished reading through all 210 responses to Bute Community Power’s wind turbine proposal at Auchintirrie farm as preparation for writing my own letter on the subject.
I noticed that many of the responses supporting the planning application said that there would be no impact on tourism to the island as a result of the turbines.
It was therefore interesting to me that of the 210 responses, 33, or 15.7 per cent, were sent from addresses off the island by people objecting to the proposal.
These were people who stated that they regularly visited the island, some on a regular basis across decades, and some bringing relatives and friends.
Most of the letters stated that the writer would either no longer visit or would seriously consider other holiday destinations if wind turbines were put up.
Two letters from addresses off the island, 0.9 pe cent of the total responses, supported the wind turbines.
There was also an interesting letter from one objector which pointed out that none of the tourism literature for Gigha, which many supporters cite as a model to which Bute could be compared, has any image which contains the wind turbines that are located there.
Will Visit Bute put photos in their promotional materials or on their website of two 47-metre high wind turbines? Will any B&B, hotel, restaurant, golf course, visitor attraction?
It was also of interest to note that some of those supporting the proposal said or implied that anyone objecting to the wind turbines was
against renewable energy. The objectors often stated that they were not against renewable energy, but pointed out in some objections that
Scotland is already able to produce more than one hundred per cent of the energy it requires through wind power.
However, this energy can’t be stored, and with too much wind, the grid can’t cope with the energy being created. Thus there must be
payments made to turbine operators, called constraint payments.
Last year there was more than £53 million paid to turbine operators to not run the turbines. All these costs are paid by all of us, through taxes or electricity bills. I have to wonder, if Scotland is already capable of producing one hundred per cent of its electricity needs through wind power, why haven’t our energy bills already dropped?
Also, at present the Crown Estate and Scottish Government are putting £4 billion into tidal energy projects. The first of these is now under way.
I was recently in the Faroe Islands on business, and noticed that though they have a landscape very similar to Scotland, I saw no wind turbines.
When I asked about this, I was told that they are waiting to see what Scotland will develop regarding tidal power generation and then they will use this, avoiding the blighting of their magnificent scenery with wind turbines.
I looked up more information when I arrived back here in Scotland, and found that the Faroe Islands have only six turbines - and they have an agreement in place with a Scottish company working on tidal power generation. The Faroe Islands is also exploring hydrogen power.
Opposing the wind turbines at Auchentirrie does not mean one is against renewable energy.
Wind generation has reached a ‘saturation’ level and now other alternatives should be investigated.
3/1, 23 Argyle Place, Rothesay
Flood risk is ‘nonsense’
I read with interest about the Dochertys and their rejection by an insurance company when they wanted home insurance (May 29).
Four years ago I went to the bank and asked where I might purchase contents insurance. The rep for the company responded by assuring me I was in a flood prone area. The call was made from Largs and was considered ‘sight unseen’ - the company refused to insure me at all. This was and is absolute nonsense.
The block of flats where I chose to make my home was the site of a small chapel and its hall. The chapel opened its door in 1834 and closed in the 1940s when it became surplus to requirements. By the early 1950s the ground floor was bought and the flats were built on the site. Stella Maris was home to the nuns and is still there - a lovely house.
When I thought about Mountstuart Road, where the Dochertys live, I thought about the sea and its level. The sea would need to be 40 or more feet higher than it actually is. This made me wonder if they, the Dochertys, suffered from a rep on the mainland deciding ‘sight unseen’. He knew better from afar than a rep on site.
Margaret M. Hamilton
14 Shore Road, Port Bannatyne
Port Gala Day a success
The Port Bannatyne Gala Time would like to say a great big thank you to everyone who came along on Sunday, June 7 and supported our third annual Gala at the Port.
Despite a terrible run of bad weather right up to Sunday, the sun actually broke through and people came in their hundreds to lend their support and enjoy the entertainment.
We can’t thank the entertainers and helpers enough for supporting us once again. They are too numerous to mention here but we will be posting and thanking all of our supporters on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ThePortGalaDay).
The proceeds from the event will be used in projects such as the building of the community shed and garden in Stuart Street.
This allows various groups and North Bute Primary School to store their equipment in a safe dry place. We have made a piece of unsightly, derelict land into an asset for the whole village.
But we haven’t finished yet, we are selling tickets for a raffle to win a chance to cruise on a luxury yacht with lunch and a glass or two of bubbly. Plus we have just been given two tickets to Butefest from the organisers which we are adding to the raffle.
So we now have prizes of:
three pairs of tickets for a trip for two on a luxury yacht, plus two tickets for ButeFest. That’s four fantastic prizes! Tickets are on sale at the Post Office and the Port Inn, Port Bannatyne.
Please contact us on our Facebook page or any of the committee for further details on our activities.
1/2 15 Castle Street,
* Read more letters to the editor in this week’s Buteman - on sale now.