Argyll Array Project Update #12 July 2011

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Electronic versions of photomontages

There have been a number of requests for the photomontages displayed recently at the Public Information Day to be published on our website. This will now be done in the near future.

Our website will also feature guidance on how to interpret the electronic versions. It remains the case that electronic versions of the montages can make the visual impact appear either less or greater, depending on presentation – the guidance will address this issue.

The exhibition housed in the Rural Centre is still the best way to view the photomontages as they were designed for this kind of presentation. Opening times for this exhibition were in my last update.

There has been comment from a small number of people regarding the integrity of the photomontages and the methods by which they were produced. Our photographers were on Tiree for a set period of time, and the photographs for the visualisations show the best viewing conditions available during that time. The method used to superimpose the turbines upon the original photographs was that stipulated by the regulator. The same method will be used in visualisations accompanying the formal planning application. A greater number of visualisations will be produced to accompany the formal application. The viewpoints selected for the exhibition were chosen to give an accurate representation of what the development could look like from a small number of important sites. The viewpoints for the exhibition montages were chosen to enable direct comparison to be made with those presented by others.

At present we are consulting with Tiree as to the viewpoints desired for the formal application. It’s fair to say that highly reputable specialist consultants and a responsible developer simply could not associate themselves with material that was dishonest or unfairly presented.

Public Information Day

A total of 24 comment forms were returned from the 121 attendees. The general feeling was that the presentation was informative and very well presented. There was a desire expressed for more detail on what benefits the project would deliver for the island as well as concern from some over the visual impact of the wind farm.

There were also requests for more information on a variety of topics, particularly regarding onshore impacts. Individual comment sheets cannot be reproduced here but the following gives more detail on the points made, under six headings. Each point was made once by one person unless shown otherwise in brackets.

socio-economics

  • Desire to see something (e.g. airport upgrade, road resurfacing, economic impact) in return for any negative impacts of the windfarm (SIX COMMENTS)
  • Desire for a guarantee on jobs from the project (THREE COMMENTS)
  • Concern that windfarm will damage tourism
  • Query as to representation from island on tourism issues
  • Desire for more detail on fishing impacts
  • Query regarding community benefit payments

Visual impact

  • Opinion that photomontages show a negative visual impact (FOUR COMMENTS)
  • Desire for visualizations of night-time views (TWO COMMENTS)
  • Desire for wind farm to be moved further out to sea (TWO COMMENTS)
  • Desire for visualisations of ‘onshore’ scenarios
  • Belief in others’ photomontages rather than SPR’s
  • Concern over technical accuracy of photomontages
  • Concern over presentation of converter stations in photomontages
  • Request for a map layout with 300 turbines
  • Request for a constraints map
  • Preference for larger (and therefore, fewer) turbines
  • Avoid lines of turbines creating a dense wall effect when viewed end on

Character of island

  • Concern that the visual impact will damage the character of the island
  • Desire to leave the island if the project goes ahead
  • Concern that there would be nothing positive for the island from the project

Consultation

  • Well presented, informative staff at exhibition (TWELVE COMMENTS)
  • Good hospitality at exhibition (THREE COMMENTS)
  • Understanding that the Environmental Impact Assessment has still to be undertaken
  • Desire for more detailed information through An Tirisdeach
  • Desire for more detailed information in the exhibition itself
  • Desire for more information on the converter station
  • Desire for more detail on helicopter noise
  • Desire for more information on onshore development
  • Desire for the project to be named ‘Tiree Array’

Ecological impacts

  • Concern about potential for impacts from anti-fouling chemicals (TWO COMMENTS)
  • General concern for potential impacts on wildlife

Other

  • Scepticism about the ability of project to cope with weather and sea conditions
  • Recognition of the difficulty of not having all the information yet
  • Plea to continue to keep the community informed
  • Support for wind farms generally
  • Desire for clarity regarding an operations and maintenance strategy prior to application for the windfarm

All of these comments are being taken account of as the project is developed, and a brief response to each will be published in future updates.

Very many thanks to all who took the time to make comments and for the constructive approach taken by the vast majority. When the exhibition in the Rural Centre closes, the same will be done with the comments submitted from there.

Masterplanning

The consultants for this important work (a company called Ironside Farrar) have now been appointed and will be beginning work in Tiree in the near future. SPR’s main input will be giving information on the possible options for onshore developments if the project goes ahead. The bulk of the work, however, will focus on what various sections of the Tiree community and others see as being the best way forward for onshore developments.

We would encourage all who have a view on this to get involved in the process.

Future updates

  • Responses to comments made at the Public Information Day
  • Trip to view an offshore wind farm
  • Careers information

Questions or comments

If anyone has any questions or comments on any of the above, or indeed any aspect of the project, please contact me at – Donnie Campbell, ScottishPower Renewables Community Liaison Officer, Machair, Kilmoluaig in the first instance. My land line telephone number is 220 352, mobile number 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

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