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Saturday, 2 April 2011

ALLT DUINE: THE BIG LIE

Allt Duinne Overview Map

ALLT DUINNE MAP

(BOTH MAPS ARE CLICKABLE)

Dear reader: The yellow line on the map is the boundary of the Cairngorm National park. The money-grubbing developers of the Allt Duinne Wind Power Station have written in their ‘Non Technical Summary’:

“IT IS NOT CONSIDERED THAT THE PROPOSED ALLT DUINNE WINDFARM WOULD HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE SPECIAL QUALITIES OF THE CAIRNGORM NATIONAL PARK”

WTF! I am sorry, but I believe that 31 spinning turbines on steel towers, each 125m tall, planted on the top of the Monadhliath hills, some only 400 metres from the boundary of the CNP will indeed have a major effect on the CNP. Jeez! Do they think we are stupid? Well, obviously they do and the three estates (Dunachton, Alvie and Dalraddy) who will be hosting these turbines do as well.

Putting it simply, these developers are liars. This proposal must be stopped. You can find the excellent MCofS statement attacking this power station HERE. You can see the dreadful document from the Wind Power Station Developer HERE.

We desperately need  to get this application rejected and wipe the smug grins off these landowners’ & developers’ faces. Their motivation for building this power station has nothing at all to do with reducing Scotland’s carbon footprint. It has nothing to do at all with creating “clean energy”. It has nothing to do at all with making Scotland energy self-sufficient. No. It is only to make a huge bundle of money for themselves at the consumers’ expense. That’s you and me.

MONEY GRUBBING BASTARDS! 

29 comments:

  1. Despair sets in even when you think people aren't listening. Of course, it's gone beyond that now - if you take a notion to write to your MSP about it, you find out there isn't even anybody to pretend they're listening.

    From the Scottish Parliament website:

    "Please note, the 2007-2011 session of the Scottish Parliament was dissolved on 23 March and elections will take place on Thursday 5 May.

    MSPs cease to be Members of the Scottish Parliament once Parliament is dissolved, so there are currently no MSP's."

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  2. Word = stolit, and that's exactly what they are doing to Britain's wild land. I think we can call this the 'New Clearences'.

    Theo

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  3. I hate it when one is able to look at something and say 'follow the money' and in the 'estates hostinf' turbines....

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  4. Good post Alan.

    Scott, the fact that there's an election coming is an advantage not a cause for despair. Candidates can be asked about Allt Duine and wild land in general. The John Muir Trust has links as part of its "Make Wild Land an Election Issue" here:
    http://www.jmt.org/news.asp?s=2&cat=Campaigning&nid=JMT-N10558

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  5. Ach, I know Chris - it's just that one of the many drawbacks of living in darkest Lanarkshire is that they hardly bother canvassing because Labour aye win here.

    Still - I can always stalk the candidates online.

    :0)

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  6. When I read the MCofs press release on the Walkhighlands website, one thing that struck me was that it was all about 'ruining the views'.

    Now, I do value views a lot, as my previous comments on your blog must have made abundantly clear, Alan.

    But one thing that is clear is that the other side will always reply: what's the loss of a 'few views' compared to the gains for climate change and energy provisions.

    I personally think that argument is bogus, but it is being made all the time.

    Now, if you remember things like the campaign against seal pups culling back in the eighties what made a difference was showing the images of the pups being bludgeoned to death. What one needs to save the hills is pictures of the damage to the hills. It's not just the views that are lost forever. What needs showing to the wider public is the irreparable damage that is being done to the hills in the name of 'green industry'. One needs to show that while wind may be 'renewable' the stuff that captures it is neither renewable (for every component that goes into making a turbine is highly noxious, especially when you consider how little energy you get per tonne of concrete, per tonne of rare earth, per tonne of metal and the like) nor green, for the damage to watercourses, soil, peats and the like is immense.

    We need shocking images of the construction phase, we need shocking images of the destruction in established sites, the miles upon miles of track on previously unspoilt uplands.

    The stress on the views plays the 'nimby' accusations card.

    Just a suggestion.

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  7. I would like to know how the Environmental Statements for these wind farms (Druim Ba & Allt Duinne and no doubt others) are now being considered by the Scottish Executive and objections have to be lodged with 28 DAYS when a) We have no MSPs until after the election and b) the developers have as much time as they want to submit a 2000 page technical ES and lay people have a miserable 4 weeks to look through it, understand it and object - what a joke!

    The whole process is geared to get these wind factories through planning.

    Well we are in the process of trying to arrange to fly a Blimp at 500ft - the height of the proposed turbines , nearly twice the height of the Kessock Bridge in Inverness - to show people how bloody enormous these things are and how far you will be able to see them

    If you want to see pictures of construction and devestation go to http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hills/cc/story.htm

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  8. Andy B. - I agree completely. Views are all very well and I like them as much as anyone, though it's not my main motivation for going to the hills. The arguments have to be much more focussed on the points you make.

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  9. Doh, of course I meant to say: The stress on the loss of views plays *straight into the hands* of the 'nimby' accusation move.

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  10. Prime example of destroying what was meant to be protected.

    The maps Alan's posted clearly show that aspects of this development - access tracks and (presumably) pylons from the site will need to be built within the National Park.

    Millions of pounds are being spent protecting and restoring moors in the Peak District NP, which still suffer environmental degradation dating from the height of the Industrial Revolution.

    But here some pillocks are spending millions to make millions by destroying the environment all over again.

    ""Ey up, so what you doing here then?"

    "We're building a wind farm lad."

    "Oh aye, what's that do then?"

    "Well, it helps prevent climate change."

    "Ooh, that sounds important - why would you want to do that?"

    "To protect the environment of course!"

    "Ooh I'm glad to hear that, it needs protecting. Look at what some idiots done to that hillside – all them new tracks, all that carbon-storing peat cut up, big holes dug through the bedrock and poisonous concrete poured in, all them wagons belching out filth bringing them new metal towers on to the moor. Ruddy lines of pylons everywhere. I've heard that them turbine things use magnetic materials mined from the ground in a way that makes a right toxic mess. Glad you're doing something to counter that sort of environmental abomination."

    "Ooooh, er…"

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  11. Hope?

    In the Swiss canton of Jura all planned windfarm projects have recently been put on ice. According to a media report wind-energy companies operating in this wonderful part of Switzerland are accused of lies and bribes. In the meantime a platform of locals and environmentalists (librevent) has been founded to fight the devastation of the wooded heights in the canton Jura.

    Seemingly there are governments in Europe which care about the natural places or have fears about their future.

    What about the Scottish Government, the Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage???

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  12. What about the Scottish Government, the Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage???

    Yes what about them?
    Here protecting the environment plays second fiddle note that word. To ££££££

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  13. I planned my route last autumn to take in all that I could of the M*nadh***ths - and now find that, just when I thought I'd be up close and personal with Mercedes The Polar Bear (and Walker, The Teenage Polar Bear)I find that I may be walking freely for the last time over yet another section of our heritage.

    We have elections here in Scotland in a few weeks. I have made appointments to see both our incumbent MSP - the Tory John Lamont and the closest rival, Euan Robson. There is not a shred of a mention on any of their material regarding this despoliation - although, let it be said, Scottish Borders Council has called a halt and a moratorium on any current wind-farm activity.

    Here's an idea - how about taking The Wake For The Wild right across the country as a relay? And documenting sections of the stravaig on video/podcasts?

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  14. Makes me sick. I was on Sgor Gaoith yesterday, enjoying the views across there. Tonight a proposal by Novera for 6 110m turbines just a few 100m from me on the edge of the Simonside hills in Northumberland has been approved. The National Park Authority formally objected saying “the impact on the view from the national park will undoubtedly be significant, with the proposed turbines forming prominent features in the landscape”. For the benefit of the voting councillors, the planning officer helpfully summarized this as saying the development“would not have a significant adverse impact on the character of the wider landscape, including the National Park” and omitted to mention their formal objection. I'm gutted but heartened that there are people on here who can keep my faith with the human race.

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  15. You know, sometimes I think: what if we did some sort of high profile stunt like the 'climate protesters' guys at that coal station down in England, wherever that was.

    If I recall, they got away with it because the judge found their 'beliefs' entitled them to a spot of vandalism.

    Somehow, I don't quite think the courts would be as lenient if any of us middle-aged gits took to some form of direct action against these confounded turbines.

    But maybe it would be worth risking it to make front page news.

    Whatever.

    The best thing I read recently was this Green Party bloke down in Cumbria or thereabouts mumbling against the plans to exploit shale gas off the coast. As you guys know, shale gas will give us plentiful supply of the stuff for the next 200 years or so. It's bad news for the pseudo-greens of course.

    But this bloke is on record as saying that people won't like having these platform offshore to extract shale gas.

    So you see, according to the Green Party gospel, thousands of wind turbines are attractive and socially acceptable, while a few offshore platform (nothing remotely as intrusive as the turbines) would be an 'intrusion'.

    Where's George Orwell when you need him...

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  16. I think one of the issues is public awareness. Most people don't see them and find the wind farms ok, because they see maybe 1 or 2. I have spoken to several people recently about them and they always say. Oh they look alright, and do no harm. Green is good. Then when you start to tell them the facts figures and show them before and after photo's and the damage to the land, they start to see the bigger picture. Unfortunately and naively GREEN or Pseudo Green is seen as good. The spin that the Greens put forward (often in a very self righteous way) is believed by the majority, because all these people have vested interest and sell their side, whilst hiding the long term reality. As has been said on this board, we need bigger and better and more far reaching publicity, that looks at the environmental and economic long term damage rather than just the loss of views that at present few see. More high profile support and coverage. Bet they'd never build one on the Balmoral Estate.

    I'm off to sleep now, because it's late and I'm angry again.

    That Fawkes bloke wasn't far off the mark was he?

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  17. There will never be turbines at Balmoral see http://www.noturbinesin.saddleworth.net/Archive/Prince%20Charles_%20wind%20farms%20are%20horrendous.htm

    See also
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/8129883/Bonkers-green-energy-risks-power-shortages.htm

    It has been suggested that a planning application for a massive wind farm be put in for Balmoral and Arthur's Seat at Holyrood. As you can apply for planning even if you don't own the land - why not? What publiicity! Anyone with the know how to do it?

    We have managed to get CAA approval for the proposed fly site of our Blimp to show turbine height at 149.5m and are just waiting for approval for dates. We have asked for one day between 11th and 16th April - weather permitting.The developers refused to have it flown from the actual turbine site - I wonder why - so we found a kindly farmer with land adjacent. This is for the Druim Ba development nr Kiltarlity, Inverness. Anyone want to come and be horrified?

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  18. Quite right, Lyndsey. In the same way that The Malverns or the Cotswold tops will never be defaced with these things and for similar reasons.

    Not that I'd wish them to be, by the way.

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  19. Charlies the man.
    What we need are HIGH profile campaigners to stand up to the plate and make the county aware. However, I suspect that a real protest would be mugged and stifled by the politico's and powerful spin doctors.
    Here's another link More facts against

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  20. Talking of the Big Lie: take a look at this BBC report

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12985410

    You see the sort of uphill task we face? Every single report by the BBC that sort of hints at problems with wind always ends up with someone from Scottish Renewables doing their propaganda piece. It is never made clear that Scottish Renewables are a lobby outfit for the wind industry. In this case the duty-clown says that no form of energy production is 100% efficient. The BBC swallows the party line uncritically without stopping to consider what an inane reply to the facts from the JMT study this is.

    Can you imagine another situation (say a study on the effect of smoking) where the lobby representing the industry would be given the last word??

    I can see the report on the BBC when Alan's wake takes place; after a few comments from Alan and the other guys, Scottish Renewables will come on to say that the threat from climate change is so great that the loss of a few views and the antics of a few bearded gits cannot stop the unstoppable March of the Turbines.

    I'm SO glad I don't have to pay the TV licence any more.

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  21. Dear God!
    Many thanks for that link "Andy B"

    That really is the most disgraceful piece of journalism I have ever seen in my life. Is it possible to find out who wrote it? There should be a formal complaint made to the BBC as I reckon this must rank as the most biased writing I have ever seen produced by them.

    I pay for this with my TV license!

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  22. You can complain about this report by using the complaint form buried in the 'Contact Us' section of their website. I've already done so.

    I think it'd be worthwhile writing to one's MP/MSP about this. It happens all the time. Any time a vaguely critical report makes it to the BBC website, Scottish Renewables get the last word.

    There was a press release from St Andrews University a while ago about the effect of noise on whales, causing them to beach and the like. The BBC ran a piece with the headline 'Navy Sonar Causes Whales to Beach'. The Daily Telegraph ran a report on the same study that said something like 'Wind Farms Can Cause Whales to Beach'. In a sense, they were both misleading titles (the study was broader than that). But interestingly enough only the Daily Telegraph was forced to publish a correction. The correction was a masterpiece of double-speak. The Professor who authored the study said his remark had been taken out of context. So basically he did not deny he'd said in the interview with the Telegraph hack that offshore wind farms could cause whale beaching; he just said it had been taken out of context! And the Telegraph sheepishly published the retraction. No such thing on the Been.

    You see, it's all right to blame the Navy but never ever blame turbines! Do you want us all to drown?

    I really wish someone had the resources to spend a few months going around wind plant sites to collect all the evidence of the pollution they're causing there (oil spills, dead birds, rubbish from the contractor, water pollution, the lot).

    But you don't get funding for this sort of thing. Now, if you were to say you're going to prove how climate change is affecting the reading habits of caterpillar moths, then that would be different of course....

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  23. To be truly appalled at just how far the wind energy companies are prepared to lie through their teeth, pop over to Cameron McNeish's blog. Cameron went to the public meeting held at Kincraig and listened to the wind company supporting the case for the Allt Duinne Wind Power Plant make it up as he went along.
    http://www.cameronmcneish.co.uk/2011/04/windfarm-untruths-at-first-hand/

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  24. Maybe it's the downturn, but there was this other report on BBC Scotland today about Gleneagles Hotel reporting huge losses:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-12993019

    As I say, maybe it's the downturn. But since building 5 wind plants within sight of the hotel and another 2 going up shortly, I wonder whether the decrease in visitors is also due to that. Why spend pots of money on a posh hotel that instead of giving you the Scottish Experience of old now gives you a front row seat on the latest and bestest of turbine technology?

    Early days, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a connection there...

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  25. I think the truth is that it will, in the end, take direct action to stop this.
    Wind farm technology is disproved. Last December proved that more than ever....coldest weather this winter, no wind power!
    I think the idea of "high profile" people getting involved is an important one. Certainly David Bellamy is very anti, and Jim Perrin did the march up Plylumon last month.
    In the end though, it will need someone to coordinate all this and that costs time and money. Are we prepared to rally behind someone?

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  26. Urgent Action now needed. The final date for objections to the Allt Duinne Wind Farm under the Sect 36 application is 13th April. How about it if you all emailed yoiur objections to the Energy Consents unit and support JMT and the Cairngorms National Park. Destry the LIE that this will not be seen from the Cairngorms. We know the planners never get their boots dirty but we do, so tell them. Google Allt Duinne and you will find all the instructions to ogject there. Come on, let's show them people power. Don't forget the Minister, Jim Mather, is not standing again so we need to mark the card of his successor!

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  27. I think that one thing to be aware of is how the BBC, once a proud beacon of objective reporting to the world, is this no longer. It would probably be closer to the truth to refer to it as an organ of government propaganda. This becomes abundantly clear when one looks at their one-sided reporting on matters such as wind factories, and climate change generally. It is also vital not to be naive about our 'democracy', which has sadly become far less democratic in recent times. Most folk who love the natural world tend to be fairly nice people, to whom it doesn't come naturally to create a stink. But I think our reasonableness and niceness has allowed the moneygrubbers to get away with things too easily. If there is ever a time for more radical activism, it is now or never.

    Even by the normal standards of the windfarm companies, the Allt Duinne proposal is staggering. I know the area quite well, it's a favourite in the autumn especially, with wide open spaces, the sound of rutting stags, the occasional sight of a ptarmigan or mountain hare. There is no doubt that it would have a huge impact on the national park itself; and I wonder what the tourism trade in Aviemore will make of it.

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  28. The Chance to have your say about the future of wind energy in the Highlands. Highland Council has prepared a new planning Guidance for wind-energy developments and now wants to hear what interested groups think about it. Address your comments to Cllr Ian Ross, chair of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee at Highland Council. Deadline is 5pm Friday, June 24th

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  29. I was walking on the Culter Fell range last week and there is currently work being undertaken on the ridge to the south - well advanced I may say. My point is 2/3 years ago on this same ridge there was no sign of any windfarms, now you cannot look in any direction without seeing these windmills.

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