This has still not come before West Dunbartonshire Council planning committee and we understand the council planners are still seeking information from Lomond Energy. WDC have apparently set aside funds for a feasibility study for a windfarm on Pappert Hill which is owned by the Council. This gives a whole new twist to the situation. If the council consider that they could make money from a windfarm on their own land they would be most unlikely to refuse one on the adjacent site at the Merkins. We also hear that the Forestry Commission has had their land surveyed with the possibility that they perhaps could allow windfarms. If Merkins goes through the Kilpatricks could soon look like Whitelees.
Meanwhile in the adjoining Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, revised supplementary planning guidance, is restricting turbines to less than 30 meters, making commercial windfarms unviable. There is a campaign being started by Cameron McNeish and others, to try to create buffer zones to prevent large scale wind turbine schemes, such as Merkins, around National Parks.
Last year the number of turbines in Scotland increased by 34% although, due to lack of wind, the power produced increased by only 19%, surely emphasising that some of the high subsidies being given to encourage this erratic power source would be better directed to more research and development into more reliable, sustainable green energy production such as solar, wave and tidal.
Save Sheep Hill (The prominent hill and iron age fort above the Dunglass roundabout)
In December WDC asked if there was a possibility that the Scottish Government would be willing to pay compensation if the Sheep Hill area was excluded from quarrying.
This is an extract from the reply from Derek Mackay Minister for Local Government and Planning.
‘There is nothing in the ROMP (Revision of Mineral Consents) statutory framework which gives Scottish Ministers power to pay compensation to an operator who suffers loss as a result of a change in a mineral permission following a review under the 1997 Act. Ministers have however asked that I offer my service and that of the Scottish Government in a brokerage role, to help progress a way forward. Please get in touch with me if you would find it helpful to take up that offer’.
This puts the ball back in the WDC court who would presumably, not have the means to pay any compensation required. Before the planning meeting of 2005 which renewed the 1949 permission to quarry Sheep Hill, the quarry operator offered a potential swop for an extension to the north east in place of the Sheep Hill area itself, but later withdrew this offer. Is there no possibility this could be re-examined?
The decision to agree the terms of the ROMP and allow the extension to the north west at Milton Hill to proceed (a separate issue from the quarrying of Sheep Hill) is due to go before the May WDC planning meeting.
Meanwhile someone has started an online petition on the Care2 petition site
Cochnohill Core Path
Due to antisocial behaviour by a small minority, residents on the track from Cochno Road to Greenside reservoir have requested that Core Path 98 should be rerouted to follow the new path through the Forestry Commission’s ground at Cochnohill. This should be before the WDC planning meeting in May.
More on West Dunbartonshire core paths
The Woodland Trust are currently looking for people with a passion for work outdoors to take on the role of Volunteer Woodland Rangers at Lang Craigs. This post would support the site manager with various activities on site including practical conservation work, wildlife surveying and public events. The Trust are also looking for a volunteer speaker for the Strathclyde area to inspire communities to enjoy and value woods and trees. For more information on either of these volunteer posts contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lang Craigs will be hosting its second community tree planting event at Lang Craigs on the 11th of May from 11am-2pm. A mini bus will provide free lifts from the council offices on Garshake Road to Overtoun House. There is then a 10 minute walk up the hill to the event area. As well as tree planting there will be willow weaving, storytelling and refreshments. Please bring a spade, warm clothes and wellies/ walking boots. To book a place at this free event please email email@example.com
Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), over the past four months, have held eight meetings with local groups, organisations and individuals to gain input to the Kilpatrick Hills Recreation Plan. Over 80 members of the public attended and contributed towards this process and many more provided additional information through smaller meetings and other forms of correspondence. Staff are now in the process of providing a summary of the sessions to those that attended and would like to thank everyone that contributed towards this process. The Kilpatrick Hills Recreation Plan will be completed by the end of 2013.
The Forestry Commission Scotland will be hosting public consultations in 2013 for the Kilpatrick Hills Forest Design Plan. Commission staff will attend the Lang Craigs community tree planting event on the 11th of May to talk to members of the public about the hills and land owned by FCS. Additional consultation opportunities will be advertised to the community through local media and further information will be provided to Clydebelt once the vacancy for Planning Forester for this area has been filled.
If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Eilidh Spence Direct: 08452935795 Mobile: 0777043018 firstname.lastname@example.org
Woodland Learning & Community Officer, Lang Craigs & Kilpatrick Hills
Volunteers are needed to help with a litter pick at The Saltings and nearby beach in Old Kilpatrick on Sunday 7th April between 10am and 2pm. Meet at the car park behind the Scout Hall in Erskine Ferry Road. Equipment supplied. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Linda Adam on 07805 809883.
Please note that a litter pick takes place on the first Sunday of every month at the Saltings. Also feel free to forward this to others who may be interested.
Clydebelt-- Clean up Scotland
Clydebelt will again be holding their annual cleanup of the Faifley/Hardgate Knowes on Sunday 28th April from 10am- 2pm . Meet at the car park behind Whitehills Hotel at Hardgate roundabout; equipment supplied. Please come along and show your support.
Clydebelt Website www.clydebelt.org.uk
Kilpatrick Hills on Flickr
Some remarkable pictures have been added to our Kilpatrick Hills Flickr site.
Next Clydebelt Meeting
Tuesday 21st May at 7.30 in Trinity Church Hall, Roman Road, Duntocher - All welcome.
Sam Gibson Secretary Clydebelt