Pages

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

TGO Challenge 2014: Part 4: A walk through Stronelairg




Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got 
Till it's gone 
They paved paradise 
And put up a parking lot

***


Shamefully, Highland Council had already approved the Stronelairg Upland Power Station - the biggest wind farm so far for the Highlands of Scotland. Now, all that stood in the way of its construction was the Scottish Government’s possible refusal. Recently, the S.G. had made great claims about protecting wild land, and their own agency, Scottish National Heritage (SNH), had opposed Stronelairg. Folk like Cameron McNeish (an ardent SNP & Scottish Independence supporter) queued up to proclaim the SNP’s protection of wild land. They assured us that we “could trust the SNP Government.”

STRONELAIRG, MONADH LIATH, SCOTLAND
STRONELAIRG, MONADH LIATH, SCOTLAND “A SUITABLE LOCATION FOR A POWER STATION” – CLICK TO ENLARGE

Well, now we all know how that turned out. The Scottish Government rubber-stamped Stronelairg, but yet even today McNeish, and his SNP chums, is celebrating the fact that his Government has now approved the modified SNH Wild Land map, which of course deleted protection for the Stronelairg area of the Monadh Liath. In fact it does not include the Dell Wind Farm, the Corriegarth Wind Farm or the Moriston Wind Farm either. Protecting Wild Land? Don’t make me laugh. These Shysters have just given the green light to surround Scotland’s National Parks and National Scenic Areas with wind turbines. They have ghetto-ised the remaining wild land and condemned it to strangulation.

Being realistic, and knowing how the SNP Government operates, I knew that this was inevitable. That’s why I planned our route for this TGO Challenge to pass right through the heart of the Stronelairg Upland Power Station. I also planned our annual Cheese & Wine Party to be amongst the proposed turbine locations. The party was to be a last send off for the Monadh Liath, a “Last Hurrah” for the wild places.

Here’s a map of our route. Just the Ft Augustus start is missing. I have quite deliberately used Scottish & Southern Energy’s (Stronelairg’s developers) own map for today’s post. They can sue my arse off for all I care. I wouldn’t put it past the contemptible shits.

STRONELAIRG UPLAND POWER STATION
STRONELAIRG UPLAND POWER STATION – CLICK TO ENLARGE


The next few pictures will give you a flavour for what the SNP-led Scottish Government thinks is an appropriate place for a power station. I wonder if you agree with them:

VIEW WEST FROM THE NORTHERN LIP OF THE STRONELAIRG BOWLVIEW WEST FROM THE NORTHERN LIP OF THE STRONELAIRG BOWL – CLICK TO ENLARGE

PHIL'S PIC OF HAUL ROAD & MILLENNIUM WIND FARM
PHIL'S PIC OF HAUL ROAD & MILLENNIUM WIND FARM; THIS IS A TIDDLER COMPARED TO STRONELAIRG – CLICK TO ENLARGE


ANOTHER OF MILLENNIUM FROM NORTHERN RIM OF STRONELAIRG
ANOTHER OF MILLENNIUM FROM THE NORTHERN RIM OF STRONELAIRG – CLICK TO ENLARGE

STRONELAIRG, MONADH LIATH
STRONELAIRG, MONADH LIATH, SCOTLAND: A “SUITABLE LOCATION FOR A WIND FARM”  – CLICK TO ENLARGE

VIEW ALONG THE LENGTH OF STRONELAIRG
VIEW ALONG THE LENGTH OF STRONELAIRG – CLICK TO ENLARGE

STRONELAIRG, EXHILARATING  WILD LAND
STRONELAIRG, EXHILARATING  WILD LAND – CLICK TO ENLARGE


SOON TO BE MADE HOMELESS BY A FOREST OF WIND TURBINES
SOON TO BE MADE HOMELESS BY A FOREST OF WIND TURBINES

Phil and I walked the length of Stronelairg, some 6 miles long, often bumping into Chris Townsend and his friend Tony Hobbs. Chris was also taking lots of pictures. We were both anxious to capture the true magnificence of this incredible landscape, which is now about to be desecrated.

Fortunately we had a wonderful gang of Challengers turn up to celebrate the Monadh Liath together at the Cheese & Wine Party, and Dave & Val Machin (who had recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary!) came up trumps again and arrived with a wonderful spread to add to every Challenger’s own contribution. What a fabulous couple!

Here are few pictures of wonderful people all having a great time in what I believe is the best back-packing country in Britain:

CHEESE & WINE 2014 (1)
CHEESE & WINE 2014 (1) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

CHEESE & WINE 2014 (2)
CHEESE & WINE 2014 (2) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

CHEESE & WINE 2014 (2A)
CHEESE & WINE 2014 (2A) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

PHIL'S PICTURE: CHEESE & WINE 2014 (2B)
PHIL'S PICTURE: CHEESE & WINE 2014 (2B) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

CHEESE & WINE 2014 (3)
CHEESE & WINE 2014 (3) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

PHIL'S PICTURE: CHEESE & WINE 2014 (4)
PHIL'S PICTURE: CHEESE & WINE 2014 (4) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

SUNSET, CHEESE & WINE 2014 (5)
SUNSET, CHEESE & WINE 2014 (5) – CLICK TO ENLARGE


We had had a wonderful day, The weather was kind, the Challengers warm & friendly. And the landscape was the star of the show: Absolutely stunning.

The SNP Government thinks that this is a suitable location for an Upland Power Station. They should hang their heads in shame. Never, ever let them forget what they have done.

The Scottish Government has signed the death warrant for one of the world’s magnificent wild places.

Here is a very rough and ready hand held video I took from the northern rim of the Stronelairg bowl. Please excuse the quality and concentrate on the fabulous scenery that will soon be gone forever.

58 comments:

  1. Excellent, if devastatingly sad post, Alan. I had a look at the SNH map and it is a colossal joke. Fr instance, they include the Crianlarich Ben More in the wild land map. If you climb that from the roadside, you spend the whole day with the noise of traffic in your ear. Wild land? They included Ben Lawers. A car park at 500m! A motorway, manicured path all the way to the top! A front row seat to the Griffin Forest wind parks! One of the busiest hills in the Southern Highlands! And the list could go on.
    Anyway, I can't remember the last time I was up on a hill and couldn't see at least 3 or 4 wind factories. And as Chris Townsend recently reported, the spread of bulldozed tracks is increasing dramatically too. Scotland is being sold down the river to the new constituency of "users". The commodification of the hills is proceeding unimpeded. The SNH map is just window dressing and it is sad but not at all surprising to see CmN flapping around in excitement. And let's be honest about it: I'm always shamed by the amount of litter left on the roadside in Scotland. Now we leave giant litter on the hills too, no difference there. For all the talk of Independence, us Scots don't even know where love and respect for one's country starts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they even consider large Sitka Spruce forests as 'wild'. Legally you could plant non native Red Alder and non native Grey Alder among the non native Spruce, but if you were to plant Sitka Alder among the Sitka Spruce, that would be illegal.

      Delete
    2. Hi Andy.
      I think we both recognise that under the present administration and its desperation for electricity to export to rUK the 'wild' lands have been sacrificed.
      This Wild Land map exercise is the Scottish Government's way of tripping up anti-wind farm protesters. As John Graham has said over on "Scotland Against Spin"s FB page: "Wild Lands is NOT a statutory instrument whilst the National Planning Framework is." And of course the wind farm developers' legal teams (and the Scottish Government, of course) are well aware of this. If there's a specific profitable (with subsidies, of course) wind farm to be had in an area designated as "wild land" the Reporter will roll over as the National Planning Framework will win the day for the developer.

      Delete
    3. Hi Ron, and welcome.
      It's obvious that the Scottish Government is all at sea when it comes to "wild" places - I agree that we should not hold these places in aspic - but what we do do should at least be based on common sense.

      Delete
  2. Well, yesterday's tweets possibly implied some peoples views of the Monadhliath.
    My Grandchildren will never see them.
    At least I have.
    They are lovely.
    Have to go much further north now to see real wild land. But those responsible should hang their heads in shame. I doubt they will. They have IMO a different monetary agenda.
    And the ridge line walk tomorrow is even more magnificent... Dull? I think not. But you do have to care about beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been pretty obvious to me that some outdoor commentators are only interested in one thing: Self promotion. Their livelihoods depend on them toeing the SNP line and so when it comes to the crunch they roll over like lap-dogs. The anti-wind farm elements of their speeches that are published on their websites don't actually get delivered on the platform inn front of their SNP bosses due to "time constraints."
      Twitter has shown these charlatans up for the frauds that they are.

      Going north won't save you from wind farms - Caithness & Sutherland are plagued buy applications, that eat deeply into wild land.

      Delete
  3. Well said, Alan. Whether it's part of the Challenge or a separate trip, I'm going to do a big zig zag around the Monadhliath next year before it's destroyed. The SNP and Fergus Ewing in particular should be ashamed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ewing really should be ashamed of himself - a former member of the Lomond Mountain Rescue team and he's done over two thirds of the Munros.
      The guy should be ostracised by every sound. minded hillwalker. He is beyond pity. (Fellbound will like that)

      Delete
  4. a great piece as is the norm alan . i also agreee with the andrew in that if i ever become a grandparent they will never see truely wild land in britain .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris.
      Of course there are pressures on land in Britain, but wild land should be given statutory protection - not this fig leaf.

      Delete
  5. We followed the same route on one of our days, glad I got to see it before it's destroyed, such a shame

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Matt.
      When we held the Wake for the Wild on the Challenge a few years back on the Dunmaglass Estate, the estate planted notices all about the place requesting that we keep to the paths to avoid disturbing wild life.
      You just couldn't make it up - they were about to build almost thirty massive turbines on the very same ground using a hundred thousand tons of reinforced concrete, massive new haul roads and new pylon lines.
      Wind farms are all about money - from the SG's perspective, the developers' perspective and the landowners' perspective. It has sod-all to do with saving the planet.
      Get back up there before they start building. Take pictures - because before too long it will all be an industrial train crash.

      Delete
  6. Re: Andrew's comment: 'Have to go much further north now to see real wild land'.
    That's all very well, but how long will it be before that (so far relatively untouched) is tainted by the spread of these damned windfarms.
    I would dearly love to see Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond and his cronies fall flat on their faces with their windfarm policies.
    Come the referendum, if they do 'win', I wonder how long it will take for the Scots to realise they've been sold down the river.
    It will be too late then, they will have lost so much - just to appease smug-faced smarmy...well you know.
    JJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi JJ
      :-)
      As I said n my reply to Mr Walker, the north is going to be buried as well. Even the limp-wristed RSPB (who get money from wind farms) have objected to some i the north, yet the Reporters push the power stations through regardless.
      It's not just the Scots that have been hood-winked into thinking that wind farms are a great idea. The wind industry, aided and abetted by the lunatics in Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the WWF have convinced the general public (who remember live mostly in towns and cities) that wind energy is wonderful.

      Delete
  7. Well said Alan. I doubt the kind of people who support and finance such desecration really give a toss, so I doubt they will feel any shame. We must never let anyone forget the damage these people have done to our upland areas, we should hold their names up for future generations to see just what type of people they were.

    For many who have any semblance of concern for the world, wind turbines are simply seen as the lesser of many evils, such as nuclear power and global warming, but lets face it wind turbines have sod all to do with protecting the environment and in reality it is simply a case of destroying one area of the environment to try and negate the destruction to another, simply because of the mantra of continuing economic growth. What a sad legacy to leave future generations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David
      I agree with you totally apart from where you appear to say that economic growth is undesirable. I believe that growth is possible without screwing up the evirnoment, but wind turbines do absolutely bugger all in reducing CO2 emissions (even if it was thought that CO2 caused global warming rather than a product of the same.)

      A list should be drawn up of all the idiots who promote wind farms, so that their children can see and hold to account the destruction they caused.

      Delete
  8. I believe it was Frank Lloyd Wright who said: "Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." Future generations will read that statement and wonder, "What is this 'nature' thing he's talking about?"

    I did the Monadhliath traverse last September and was up on the plateau again in May this year. Like many people, I suspect, I made a point of going sooner rather than later so that my memory can preserve what a wonderful, wild place it was before Ewing casually covered it in concrete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane
      Egg? :-)
      I'm a bit of a FLW buff on the quiet - and yes - he did say that.
      Before the Challenge this year Andy Robin & I had a pre Challenge walk in the Moanies for just that reason - trying to get our fill before they are well and truly ruined. With a bit of luck they'll still be there next May.

      Delete
  9. I can't work Cameron Mcneish out at all. Maybe he's got to old to be bothered about what's going on. Or is he on a retainer? Who knows. It doesn't make any difference anyway, he knows full well. I wouldn't mind him commenting to hear his view on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This wasn't meant to be a post knocking Cameron for the hell of it, as he has done some incredibly good work fighting wind farms in the past. It's just lately he seems to have lost the plot, especially on twitter when he comes out with his bizarre opinions.

      I too would welcome his comments- I have never blocked anyone from posting a different point of view.

      Delete
  10. Hi Alan, no, don't get me wrong, I wasn't knocking Mr M, I just struggle to understand how you can seemingly have a hand or foot in both sides. I don't do twitter and so I don't have a clue what he tweets about. Like I commented earlier. I hope he comments here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry if I appeared to be slightly gruff there Al. I wasn't having a go at you at all - I was trying to make the point that the post isn't really about Cameron McN but about the way the Scottish Government is wilfully fudging what their intent is when it comes to onshore wind. They deflect attacks by giving what seems at first glance a minor victory for anti-wind groups but in fact means absolutely sod-all to a developer intent on building a wind farm.
      However, folk like Cameron McN and the JMT seem to have fallen for it hook line & sinker. The MCof S have been far more guarded in their approach, pointing out their worries.
      Never, Ever take what politicians say at face face value.The only thing that counts is what they actually do on the ground.
      And on this basis alone, the SNP led Scottish Government are utterly ruthless and totally committed to building wind farms more or less anywhere they damn well please.

      As I said in my post - they are complete Shysters.

      Delete
    2. I think you might find the JMT haven't really fallen for it at all. They publicly praise the SNP for the smallest hint of a change of direction on wind farms, but I reckon that's because they're desperate not to lose any last remaining shreds of government support for wild land protection. Strong public condemnation of Ewing's barbaric policy could result in the SG flouncing off in a huff, with spiteful retaliation to follow. It's a fine line to tread and I don't think it's working against the Stalinist National Party.

      Delete
    3. You may well be right, Jane about the JMT standing below the SG's table waiting for the crumbs to drop.
      And it definitely is not working.

      Delete
    4. There's a stonking exchange about the NPF between C McNeish and a certain Angus Farquhar on CM's blog site. (I posted a few short comments myself but 2 of them seem to have vanished from the site. Can''t imagine why they'd be removed because they are relatively benign.) I know everyone's entitled to his or her own opinion, but I can't get the word "Munich" out of my head ...

      Delete
    5. Thanks for the heads up, Jane.
      Deleting your comments, eh? That is the lowest of the low behaviour.
      I notice that Angus picked up on it though.
      Well said.
      To be frank I'm amazed he's allowing comments these days - I gave up reading his blog because the comment function was disabled. I shall now return to it.
      Thank you.
      :-)

      Delete
    6. "Munich"
      Very good! Is McNeish the Neville Chamberlain of our times?
      I've also left a comment - a simple question asking which politicians he has discussed wind farms on wild land and what was said. It's waiting to be moderated by him. It will be interesting to see if he publishes and answers it. I've taken a screen grab of it. If he doesn't, I'll do a post on it here and ask him again & enlist twitter to get him to reply.

      Delete
    7. Your post did appear. He didn't exactly go into detail on the content of those exchanges, did he? And only a two-word response to the thoughtful, comprehensive, non-ranting post by a certain Andy. Oh well, I'm off to North Uist for a fortnight of peace and quiet. I quite like the noise of the wind when it isn't being centrifuged by turbine blades ... unless, of course, they've put a wind farm on Vallay island since the last time I was over.

      Delete
    8. I think he was simply out-gunned.
      Have a wonderful time, Jane.
      :-)

      Delete
  11. Roger Smith has written an excellent piece in latest (July) TGO - page 55 titled "The Destruction of Stronelairg" in which he says that the Monadhliath has been assaulted and battered by industrialisation to the point that it may never recover. This is the final paragraph:

    Whereas up to now as a route vetter for the Challenge, I always encouraged Challengers to explore the Monadhliath and discover its unique qualities, in future my advice is more likely to be to avoid the area. This is a tragedy which was perfectly avoidable and the whole sorry saga leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

    A damning verdict indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that, Phil
      I have huge respect for Roger's opinions. He's a man of integrity and common sense. He's just about the only person in TGO Towers who takes this issue head on. The rest have all ducked it (apart, of course from the gear editor, the redoubtable Chris T, who is an ardent opponent of wind farms in wild places!)
      I'm looking forward to my copy when it arrives in WH Smith!

      Delete
  12. On other news:

    http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/local-headlines/tentsmuir-sea-eagle-first-to-be-killed-by-wind-turbine-1-3447745

    Note that it is false this is the first eagle killed by a wind turbine. Off the top of my head there was one killed near Loch Awe a few years back, and at least another one up North. But of course they only start counting from the latest casualty. And the RSPB is immediately on call with their usual drivel about "greater dangers". Such a relief when you die hit by a car to be told many more people die of cancer. Indeed, why bother with speed limits when there are far greater dangers than cars. The mindset of some people is really unbelievable. To them, wind turbines can do no harm, no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Correction to my previous post on the sea eagle. I've now re-read it more carefully (I was too upset on the first read) and it is the first *reintroduced sea eagle* to be killed by a wind turbine (of course: that they know of). Until February I used to live very near the place where they were releasing the chicks. They don't mention which wind farm it was (there are loads in the Ochils now), but it could be the one which is just 4/5 miles from the release point!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very upsetting news, Andy. And of course entirely expected. In their planning applications the developers actually estimate the numbers of raptor deaths from each wind farm. They know this is going to happen.

      Delete
  14. Great post Alan. In the 90s we had a vigorous road protest movement when politicians were trying to drive motorways through chalk downs. Where the hell are the environmentalists now? They've completely lost the plot. All they care about now is carbon emissions. Anything goes in the name of cutting carbon. Puts me in mind of the apocryphal quote from a US general in the Vietnam war: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree entirely with you Stefan.
      The "environmentalists" have been hijacked by FoE, WWF and Greenpeace - all organisations who have been hi-jacked by the Carbonistas. You'll find them these days climbing Russian oil rigs in the Arctic, surrounding fracking sites (that have virtually zero visual impact on the countryside). They have a heavily anti-capitalist skew to them. However, cleverly they advertise with cuddly pandas, dolphins and whales and natter on about GM free rice and wheat. Their true agenda is to fuck up the present economic system that they abhor. Their anti-GM stance has already cost over a million lives in third world countries. Not so cuddly at all, eh?

      Delete
  15. We are not alone with this headlong ,blinkered,governmental led
    capitalist greed. Disguised as "enviromentally friendly green energy"
    it is a potential death knoll for most upland birdlife.Obviously more profitable than driven grouse moors,plus the keepers will have ample excuses for raptor deaths.Take a look http://www.gurelur.org/p/en/projects/wind-power.php

    Stormin'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that rather depressing ink, Stormin; It's the same the world over - the wind developers know that money talks. Over here they've bought off the RSPB, SNH seems to be largely in its pocket (having the same boss as the energy department is handy) and local communities (eg Corriemoney) all want a share of the cash. It's greed that's driving the development of wind, that you and I are paying for in increased electricity prices, which make life for the fuel poor even more ghastly. And remember it's the left wingers who promote wind energy! Shameful.

      Delete
  16. stumbled upon this blog via a twitter link. being a southerner I was not up to speed with just how bad things are getting in the highlands. I lived for nearly ten years (1980-89) in Sutherland the most amazing place, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time walking and sailing up down the west coast.Why oh why is there not more of an outcry from the folk who live there? I now live in North Cornwall we are suffering a similar fate not massive wind farms, but hundreds (believe it or not Cornwall Council cannot give an exact figure on how many Turbines have been approved!) of industrial sized Wind Turbines (77 meters seems to be the fashion at the moment) scattered across our countryside. Desecration by a thousand cuts for us it seems. Making the first trip back up the west coast in ten years next month dreading what I will see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to the blog, Stumbler
      :-)
      I think you'll find that most of the west coast is turbine free - but it's not the case from Oban and southwards, where they are multiplying at an alarming rate.

      Cornwall is blighted by turbines, so I wont be going back there.

      Delete
    2. Just catching up with this after seeing latest on "Dougal" blog. A few of us have been fighting windfarms in Caithness and Sutherland for years and only now are locals waking up to what is happening. It seems always to be the non-residents who object the most and now we have one councillor wanting them barred so only those living in Sutherland should object to Strathy South. Caithness is wrecked and Sutherland is fast catching up. 77m. turbines? We're expecting a group of 148m.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for that, Brenda.
      The "Dougal blog" you mention can be found by clicking
      HERE
      And of course you are correct - the turbine are getting bigger each year. 148m is 486 feet high. For southerners - think standing on the beach at Brighton and the turbines will be twice as high as the highest downland you can see. Then imagine them plonked on top of the hills. Absolutely incredible how anyone can possibly think that the landscape can "accommodate" them.

      Delete
  17. Third photo, thousand words etc. Its a beautiful shot. Then you see the things on the far hillside and the two together don't compute. I haven't, I admit, yet seen this stuff except from the motorway. But there it is. Either you understand what that shot signifies, or you do not. Those with the power and money interests do not. I did see one in Wales last year and you hear the ugly industrial whirring noise of it some considerable distance away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi James
      And guess what!
      Today, over on Walk Highlands, Cameron McNeish applauds the SNP-led Scottish Government's policy on wind farm locations.
      LINK

      And also today, Gamesa, a wind farm developer, has said it is applying for a wind farm slap bang in the middle of an area designated on the SNH map as "wild land" - the Aberchalder Wind farm
      LINK
      So much for this map protecting wild places.

      Delete
  18. Alan you provide a great focus for this subject for which many of us are grateful. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paul.
      It gives me absolutely no pleasure at all; To see a country destroy its most perfect asset, quite deliberately, and just for money, is sickening.
      All heart breaking stuff.

      Delete
  19. More bad news for the Inverness Ring of Fire. We warned the councillors but they knew best. Approve one big wind farm and that will be sufficient. They ignores the psyche of the wind weasels. Like Lemmings they arrive en masse. Now Gamesa has announced plans for another 13 turbines (unlucky for them?) at Aberchalder on land south of Fort Augustus but continuing the rash of applications west of Stronelairg. If this is approved it will further decimate the Monadliaths and makes a questionable incursion into the new Wild Lands transitional areas. It would seem to be in an area 19 but adjacent to that removed from the 2013 wild lands map. This may well be the first test of the Wild Lands designation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have a survey on their website which asks for opinions and whether or not you want your comments listed in the consultation papers.

      Worth filling in.
      I wonder if they'll include mine...

      Delete
  20. I am sad reading that Alan. Such fine wildland going to be ruined. Keep enjoying it till it's gone. How little value is placed on Scotlands high moorland by those in power.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, Martin.
      I would like everyone to read Phil Lambert's take on it, which can be read HERE
      He puts my feelings on the subject into a perfect word picture.

      Delete
  21. If the systematic destruction of the landscape wasn't sufficient reason to despise these developments (and it's more than sufficient!), there's a planning process heavily influenced by the same vested interests who stand to benefit financially. Those who lose out - the shop owner, the B&B proprietor, the small independent café - have no access to aggressive lobbying and glossy PR machinery.

    All on top of distorted pricing which means we are facilitating a massive aggregate transfer of wealth from the relatively poor to the already substantially wealthy. You couldn't make it up but, as it happens, you don't need to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dave
      :-)
      As ever, you have it absolutely spot on. It beats me why the left are such huge supporters of wind as it redistributes wealth in a way diametrically opposed to their beliefs.

      Delete
  22. Everyone will have heard of the proposal to site a wind farm on Talladh-a-Bheithe Estate by Rannoch, on the shores of Loch Ericht. Objections need to be in by August 5th. The site lies in an official area of Wild Land and was submitted on the same day the NPF was finalised. Does the developer know something we don't? (Yes, it came via a nod and a wink, I suspect.) Keep Rannoch Wild is the local opposition group with same-name website. Just when you think it can't get any worse ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane.
      James Boulter has already written a very good post on this wind farm, which you can find by clicking
      HERE
      I am also working on a post - I'm currently collating all the maps from the developer's website and working on his carbon emission calculations (which, to be frank, are a pack of lies)
      I will be posting on the subject, but it may be another week before it's finished.
      Thank for the nudge!
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Yes, my objection follows similar lines. What I can't come to terms with is that the fact that we are having to do this at all. This is Rannoch, for God's sake - is nothing sacred? Do we have no national identity left? It shouldn't be a question of trying to prove this or that: locations such as these should be OUT OF BOUNDS, full stop. My universe has been taken over by Kafka and my sanity is at risk. Do you think I could take my case to the Court of Human Rights?

      Delete
    3. Sadly, Salmond and his ilk only see the Wild Places in monetary terms - a place to generate electricity to export to England post-independence.
      The thing is, once independent, the English won't be buying it as they'll be buying it from France & Holland, leaving the Scots to pick up the bill for all the subsidies.
      Currently the Scots receive about a third of the UK's renewable subsidies ~ around £1bn. The Scots represent about a tenth of the population of the UK. This means that the Scots will be paying that £1bn themselves. That's one hell of a hike in their bills.

      Delete
  23. Bad news, I'm afraid. Court of Session has reversed Lord Jones's decision. Stronelairg is on course again. The Glen Affric hills will sure have improved views now at last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Discovered this only yesterday on return from internet-free holiday. Burst into tears. Now writing letters to demand fair treatment of JMT re costs but my heart is sickened.

      Delete

Hi.
Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!