We have had an appeal for help from Save the Pentlands Working Group on behalf of folk fighting against another application for yet another wind farm in West Lothian. The clock is ticking towards the 18th May after which no further objections will be accepted.
They are desperate for more objections to tip the balance in favour of refusal. Their fear is that this would be just the start of a march of turbines all along the wonderful unfolding landscapes of the Pentlands, with developers resurrecting previously refused applications.
The revised Fauch Hill Windfarm application is for 12 turbines, 125 metres high, 48 MW, on the same site as the previous Section 36 application for 23 turbines refused by The Scottish Ministers in 2014.
The revised scheme, while smaller, would still have significant landscape and visual impacts on the landscape. The visual and recreational asset enjoyed by locals, visitors and travellers along the A70 would be destroyed, and along with wind farms built and consented since 2014 the cumulative impacts would be horrendous.
Save the Pentlands have given us this direct link to the West Lothian Planning Page where you can tick the yellow “make a comment” box and lodge an online objection. They implore you to spare as little as 15 minutes of your time to submit a relevant objection. The link to that page displays the objections already posted and you can tick the “view” boxes. Some make fascinating reading which could be helpful when framing your own much needed and much appreciated objection!
Your comment marked as “objection” can be as long or short as you like. 2 or 3 paragraphs with relevant criticisms will count as an objection. Can we suggest you focus on the visual and landscape impacts on this site in particular? We understand these will be the most meaningful criteria for refusal.
Objections running down wind power in general could be discounted if the comments are not site specific. Best in your own words, please be as passionate as you like about our beloved Pentland Hills. You may want to suggest the Pentland Hills are special, the wrong place for turbines, the area the other side of the A70 road has already been swamped with turbines, highly visible to all travellers along the Lang Whang.
So far the wonderful landscapes of the Pentlands on the other side of the road have been spared the invasion of turbines, thanks to West Lothian Council’s Local Plan’s recognition of the highly valued landscape of the Pentlands and it’s vital that this area of the hills should not be violated by such intrusive eyesores.
You could highlight that the significant adverse landscape and visual impacts of this development alone, along with the cumulative impacts of the numerous other windfarms in the area outweigh any contribution to Scottish Government targets. And / or mention that community benefits do not outweigh the harm to the area and are not a material planning consideration so should be ignored.
Road disruption is a factor but could be argued as short term, whereas these obtrusive turbines will mar the landscape for at least 25 years. Arguments about birds, flora and fauna and the disruption to the peatlands were not considered such significant grounds for refusal last time round.
For those of you with more time, you can view details on the new Fauch Hill application no. 0235/FUL/17 via https://planning.westlothian.gov.uk
If you prefer you can post written comment to Development Management, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54 6FF heading it up “Fauch Hill Application – No. 0235/FUL/17″. It should arrive by the 18th May deadline.
Save the Pentlands Group are incredibly grateful to all of you who contribute an objection.