News Update 13/04/2014

Membership Update

We are pleased to report that our membership is steadily increasing with 236 local residents and 231 people (total 467) from further afield including Australia and Canada.  We would of course like to increase these numbers and you can help us.   Speak to or email your family/friends/contacts and tell them about our campaign and encourage them to register their support via our website.

Planning Decision

Despite a number of objections, the Highland Council have granted permission for the retention of the temporary access road (See earlier post) that leads to the site of the proposed Beinn Mhor wind farm.  The application had been submitted by the apparent partnership of Kerrow Farm/Guisachan Estate, the latter being the landowner at the centre of the Beinn Mhor controversy.  A number of  objectors pointed out that the application appeared to be simply a cynical ploy to prepare an access route in advance of applying for full planning permission for the wind farm.  To further fuel this argument the council decision was almost immediately followed by the announcement that ‘Wind Prospect Developments 2 Ltd was actively investigating the feasibility of a ten x 126.5 meter (413 feet) turbine development at Kerrow, between Beinn Mhor and Cannich.’ – on land owned by the other half of the ‘partnership.’

Community Council Update

Following the unacceptable actions of the Strathglass Community Council at their 3rd April meeting (see last week’s News post), we have written to all the councillors detailing our concerns with the conduct of the meeting and urging them to honour the public commitment that SCC made on February 20 to support the ‘No Campaign’ without the need for a ballot.  The letter can be read in full here.

Tomich Holiday Client Survey

If the hijacking of the Community Council meeting by Guisachan Estate owner Donald Fraser and his entourage hadn’t been so serious then his Tomich Holidays ‘survey’ would have provided some much needed comic relief.  Tomich Holidays, owned by the estate, sent 2717 emails to clients on their mailing list.  Details of the questions (of which there were only two) and responses were handed out at the meeting. The following statement appears at the head of the survey:

“Tomich Holidays forms part of the Guisachan Estate. The Estate is planning to place up to 7 wind turbines above Tomich Holidays in the SW corner of the Estate lands. As a gold award winner of the Green Tourism Scheme, Tomich Holidays supports renewable energy sources. These turbines will be neither visible nor audible from Tomich Holidays and although there may be some disruption at the time of construction, will not alter the peaceful, rural nature of any holiday in Tomich. We are keen to discover how you as a holiday maker would view this proposal and would ask you to complete a simple survey by clicking on the link below.”

Might we point out that:
•    The estate is merely renting out the land to the developer while certainly reaping their ‘gold award’ by raking in £6+ million over the projected lifetime of the wind farm.
•    There is no indication in the statement as to the real extent of this development.  From the responses you can deduce that a number of those who replied have been convinced that this scheme is a small local project designed to supply clean and renewable energy to the holiday complex.  If this really was the case there would be little, if any, opposition.
•    Nice to see the company reassuring their clients that they won’t see or hear the turbines – sadly the rest of us, including other holiday businesses, will!

Despite only having 175 replies to date, an underwhelming 6.4% response of which two thirds are deemed to offer support, the company makes the ludicrous claim that: ‘94.6% of our visitors are yet to respond which might signify that the vast majority of those surveyed are INDIFFERENT to the wind farm issue’ –  As for the survey comments – you couldn’t make them up – or could you?

Scotland Against Spin

Glen Affric Friends Say No! have taken out membership with the Scotland Against Spin, the independent alliance campaigning for the reform of the Scottish Government’s wind energy policy.  Visit their website at