Meeting fails to allay fears

Tiree Array (artists impression)

A two hour long meeting between Scottish Government officials and members of the community in An Talla this week failed to allay fears of possible “devastating on-shore work” on Tiree during the off-shore windfarm project.

Three officials from Marine Scotland, a Government body, explained to the meeting the steps leading up to the planning and licensing stages. Mr Phil Gilmour revealed that the off-shore and the on-shore parts of the plan will be split when it comes to the applications. When asked about the possibility of the massive electricity sub-station being sited on the island instead of out at sea, which is a more expensive option, he said that only the off-shore scenario was in his remit, and planning consent would have to be granted by Argyll council.

In reply to questions from members of the community at the meeting he said that even if the council planning committee refused the application it could be passed to the Scottish Government who could overrule the decision. He said:
“The decision could be overturned by the appropriate Minister.”
Planning permission for a possible converter and other onshore operation and maintenance facilities would only come up AFTER the off-shore licence had been granted. When asked if he thought it likely that planning permission would, thereafter, be refused by the council Mr Gilmour repeated a lengthy explanation of how both parts of the work were separate.

Mr Mark Christie, one of the Marine Scotland team, said that there would be “significant onshore impact” on Tiree from the windfarm project. Mr Gilmour said that the legal procedures involved in the process leading up to off shore wind farms were still evolving and that he and his team were ahead of other countries and that he had been abroad to address European countries on the Scottish model.

Many people left the meeting at its close expressing disappointment. They said they had learned nothing new and felt that they had been given only verbal promises that proper consultation between SPR and the community would be honoured in future. Ex-councillor Ian Gillies said:
“I am more fearful now than I was at the beginning of the meeting for a transparent approach by SPR.”
Another local resident said:
“In my opinion, what we experienced tonight was a ‘snow job’. What we are facing is months if not years of devastating industrialisation of our island and nobody will tell us what exactly to expect.”

Mr Robert Trythall, who spearheads the No-Tiree-Array campaign against the siting of the proposed wind farm asked why the proposed development was named Argyll Array, instead of Tiree Array, which would be more meaningful and alert people from elsewhere to the possible destruction of such a beautiful island. Mr Gilmour said it was up to Scottish Power to name their own project, and he agreed to ask if the name could be changed, but gave the impression it would be a waste of time.

A public information day is being held by Scottish Power Renewables in An Talla on Monday, July 28, at which officials of the power company are expected to produce visuals of the impact of the windfarm on the sea and landscapes of Tiree.

2 comments

  • Hi all,

    I think it is imperative now that we have the SPR images available on Tiree that all recognise how devestating the Array will be to Tiree.

    Given that the SPR images were taken on a june morning at around 7am and that the obvious idea was to reduce the impact by not inducing shadow on the images (even though for the majority of the day and year the turbines will be in silhouette)even though the images were not taken from points agreed by the affected party ‘us’. Even though SPR fed false truthes about the meteorology when they took the images… all who saw them were shocked…
    If the people of Tiree do not now unite and say ‘NO’ we will be selling out both our heritage and home…Tiree deserves better.

    Karl

  • SPR Visualisations

    I asked SPR why if theirlandscape photographers were on Tiree
    for 3 days , why did SPR chose photos taken between 06.00-and 08.00 on a stunning Tiree dawn

    SPR replied as follows :

    ” the photos used were those with best visibility out of multiple days on Tiree ”

    I checked the MET Office reports for Tiree an consequently replied to
    SPR as follows :

    “Your statement is contradicted by the MET OFFICE ( Tiree ) statistics.

    Your landscape consultants were on Tiree for approx 12.00 hrs Wed thru to approx 12.00 hrs Sat

    At the time these photos were taken ( between 06.15-07.30 BST ) the visibility was 19Km ( Met Office )

    Which explains the comment on one of the visualisations tothe effect that Skerryvore ( at approx 22Km)was obscured

    At 1200 hrs GMT the visibility was 28Km and remained @28Km into early evening(Met Office)

    On the Sat morning at the same time as on Fri that the photos used for these montages were taken,the visibility was 35km. (Met Office)

    I am aware from your consultants that during their time on Tiree they photographed at different times of the day.

    If it was SPR’s intention to offer ‘ best visibility’ visualisations then these should have been from photos taken either on Fri afternoon-early evening , or Sat morning , and not the ones utilesed for SPR’s Information Day.

    ++++++++++++++++

    I am still awaiting SPR’s reply

    Rgds
    Robert Trythall

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