Reply to Scoping Report – ECU00004507
Breackerie Windfarm Proposal
Campbeltown Community Council are not happy with the proposed development of a windfarm south of Campbeltown. This area is one of the last wild countryside areas in the Kintyre Peninsula. Kintyre’s most valuable asset is its landscape. The tourism and hospitality industry are the biggest private sector employers in the area.
Only one survey of the effect of windfarms on the tourist industry has been included, namely Appendix 7.2 Summary of Wind Energy and tourism Research. This survey in 2019 considers mainly the impact on Whitelee Windfarm, hardly the area most dependent on tourism. It also includes an out-of-date survey (2012) carried out on behalf of Scottish Borders Council. No surveys have been carried out to identify the impact of windfarms on the Kintyre Peninsula.
VisitScotland would strongly recommend any potential detrimental impact of the proposed development on tourism – whether visually, environmentally and economically – be identified and considered in full. This includes when taking decisions over turbine height and number” and continues by stating “the importance of impact statements should not be diminished, and that for each site considered, an independent tourism impact assessment should be carried out. This assessment should be geographically sensitive and should consider the potential impact on any tourism offerings in the vicinity”
Appendix 7.1 Tourism and Recreation Receptor Assessment indicates that many tourism providers in Campbeltown and surrounding areas will be affected significantly. Apart from the effect on the visual landscape of these properties no consideration has been given to the impact the progressive industrialisation of the hills and moorlands has on the walkers and hikers who visit this area. Walks in the comparatively unspoiled hills, woodlands and even forestry plantations are a great way to exercise and appreciate the wonderful landscapes. The proposed windfarm would affect the landscape extensively.
If this project were to go ahead, Campbeltown Community Council would also be concerned about the volume of construction traffic, not only through Campbeltown but particularly on the B842 and B843. The road between the A83 and B842 is not suitable for the volume of lorries carrying stones etc, let alone the towers themselves. Since this is the road to Campbeltown Airport and therefore an important lifeline for the population, any accident blocking this route could create real problems.
Although wind energy is a renewable resource, the area has rich peat deposits, which absorb carbon and it is questionable whether the destruction of these to produce renewable energy will benefit our environment. During construction there will be significant impact on these peat deposits and alteration of ground water supplies will upset the peat deposits further due to drying out.
No mention is made of how this development will be connected to the grid. If this development is agreed to, we would suggest that all connections are underground.
We would suggest that this windfarm, which will be sited in the Mull of Kintyre Area of Panoramic Quality, should be assessed not as a single unit, but the cumulative effect of all these windfarms on tourism should be addressed.
In the light of the above, Campbeltown Community Council would like to object to the construction of the windfarm at Breackerie.