By Tara Fitzpatrick
Concerns have been raised over West Dunbarton-shire Council’s proposed
£7million windfarm at Bonhill.
Councillors heard during a meeting of the infrastructure, regeneration and
economic development committee that the proposals, which would see a
four-turbine wind farm created in Pappert Community Woodland, would have
adverse effects on local wildlife, public health and scenery.
Speaking at a meeting of the committee on Thursday, two objectors expressed
concerns about the plans, which they say impact on Loch Lomond and the
Trossachs National Park.
Two options are being considered by the council.
The first is to apply for planning consent to build the four-turbine wind
farm in Pappert.
However this option has been deemed difficult by council officers because
the proposed windfarm would be only 0.7km from Bonhill.
The distance from residential property which is recommended is 2km.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority has already expressed
concern about the development obstructing views from the untouched beauty spot.
If the national park were to object to a planning application the project
would be left to the Scottish Government to decide upon.
Under option one the farm would cost £6.9 m and provide an expected income
of between £450k and £600k each year.
The second option would see the council join with Lomond Energy and Wind 2
to site the windfarm at Merkins in Dumbarton instead.
Officials will report to a future committee meeting once both options have
been assessed for feasibility.
When asked by Cllr Gail Casey what the health risks to the public would be,
one objector said: “It actually can produce wind turbine syndrome and cause
headaches or cardiovascular problems depending on the proximity to the farm.
“There is quite a lot of evidence but it is not recognised by public health
in the UK.
“People go to the doctor with all sorts of problems but because it’s not
actually recognised it’s difficult to produce statistics at this moment in
“The closer you are generally to the farm, the higher the chance.”
Provost William Hendrie said: “I find that very hard to believe.”
Labour leader Martin Rooney told the committee: “I’m not against it. I have
no objection to doing a site or doing it in partnership.
“I do question whether the numbers behind it will stack up in the end.
“We’ve really got to be clear that you will get profit at the end of it.”
Council leader Jonathan McColl said: “I’m happy with the recommendations.
“I think there should be an extra recommendation that sees the council ask
officers to look into other energy sources such as hydroelectric from the
“A report would come back before a future committee looking at other
options but not to the exclusion of this one.”