Update from ‘Western Link’ Hunterston Converter Station 08/12/17

Dear CLG member,

We are pleased to report that commissioning works on the Western Link have now reached a point where power has started to flow through the Link. The cables will transfer up to 900 MW of power across several hundred kilometres to link the transmission network in Scotland with the one in England and Wales. To enable the Link to operate at its full capacity of 2200 MW, further work is required at Hunterston and there may be times when the power flow will need to be taken out of the system. All activities are expected to be completed during 2018.

We’ve posted this information on our website and you can find it here: http://www.westernhvdclink.co.uk/news.aspx.

Kind regards

Niall Armstrong

Project Manager, Hunterston Converter Station

Calling all Fairlie Parents

Dear Fairlie Parent,

Are you worried about the safety of members of your family, especially your children, who cross the A78 Main Road, with you or on their own?

Over the last 4 years or more, Fairlie Community Council (FCC) have raised concerns about the risks Fairlie folk take crossing the A78, and Transport Scotland and Transerv have finally agreed to consider whether more safe crossing(s) should be created.

To make sure we have the best arguments, so our village gets additional crossings, (these could be islands, pedestrian crossing or traffic lights), we are asking residents to fill out a simple survey on our Fairlie Community Council website. We ask you to spend a few minutes telling us about your family’s needs, by the 17th December 2017, so we can make Fairlie a safer place to live.

You can access our survey at www.fairliecommunitycouncil.org/road-safety

Thanking you in advance

Fairlie Community Council

A78 Trunk Road Issues

The A78 is a the main ‘arterial’ road that runs along the length and through the heart of Fairlie village. The Community Council is actively engaged  in promoting road safety on the A78 and other issues:

  • Traffic speed
  • Pedestrian access
  • Traffic lights
  • Road width
  • Traffic islands
  • Parking
  • Road surface & potholes
  • Flooding
  • Lighting
  • Signage
  • Overhanging trees

A78 Traffic Calming Measure update – 05/09/2017

Dear Neil,

Following recent communications with you I am disappointed that I have still not received a response to many of the issues raised.

I again had to report to the Community Council yesterday that you are ‘in discussion with Development Planning’ regarding replacing a safety road island, where primary school children need to cross a busy trunk road to attend the local school. This matter has also been raised with our local NAC Councillor Ian Murdoch who is of the impression something may be done ‘in the near future’.

You indicated that you were prepared to attend a Community Council meeting in September or October , so I now hope you or a suitable representative can attend the 2nd October 2017 meeting. The September and October dates were given to you in July, when you stated that you would look to attend one of them.

The key remaining questions for our village are:

When and where is a safety island going to be constructed to replace the one removed over one year ago?
What is going to be put in place to ensure that drivers slow down in our village as the traffic lights trial is clearly unsuccessful? The statistics actually demonstrate that the mean speed of traffic at 5 of the 12 sensor points is above 30 mph.
What are the details of ‘Additional vehicle activated speed Indicator signs will be introduced at strategic locations within the town to encourage compliance with the speed limit. These are included in the programme for construction this financial year’, which you stated in your 2nd August 2017 e mail?
What measures are going to be put in place, to slow down traffic, at the southern and northern ‘gateways’ of the village, where you stated traffic speed has increased?
Why can’t pedestrian activated traffic light crossings be installed anywhere else on the A78 within the 30 mph length?
Why can’t the 30 mph limit be extended to the roundabout at the south side of the village? Planning permission has been given for 8 additional homes, alongside the 10 homes which already have to join the A78 just outside the 30 mph section?
Why the only commitment fulfilled, of the ‘new right turning lane on the A78 trunk road at the junction with the housing development’ benefits the housing developers and through traffic more than the residents of Fairlie?
Why the culvert positioned under the A78 by the new housing development junction, that regularly floods the A78, and is Transport Scotland responsibility alongside other agencies, has not been prioritised for improvement by Transport Scotland?
What is Transport Scotland going to do to demonstrate that the real concerns of Fairlie residents regarding the safety and excessive speed of traffic travelling along the A78, within the boundaries of our village are taken seriously?
I look forward to your reply, confirmation of your attendance at our next meeting, and am also available to discuss these questions with you.


Karla Tully
Secretary, FCC

Letter from FCC Secretary to Head of Planning Re. Dawn Homes

Dear Mr Miller (Head of NAC Planning),

As Head of NAC Planning, Fairlie Community Council request that you take the following issues in to account when making your recommendations to the Planning Committee on the 20th September 2017, regarding the application from Dawn Homes for the next stages of their housing development in our village.

Not only are there so many detailed concerns regarding the design of the Phases 2 and 3 which have also been submitted by us on behalf of Fairlie residents, but Dawn Homes have clearly failed to meet the planning conditions required to be fulfilled by the conclusion of Phase One construction.

We therefore ask that the Planning Committee deny planning permission for the next phases until Phase One conditions are met, and that anomalies regarding RES3 conditions are fully investigated.

Due to the RES3 condition very few ‘community benefits’ will be received by Fairlie residents.

Fairlie Community Council and local residents are therefore asking why NAC are not holding Dawn Homes to these planning conditions before even considering whether to give planning permission for the next phase.

The Phase One, original Planning Conditions not met are:-

  1. School access path

This path has not been constructed due to the developers’ mismanagement of their site at best, or planned avoidance of responsibilities at worst. If Dawn Homes had located their materials yard and temporary offices anywhere else on the site, then the path, which would free young school children from walking alongside the A78 could have been completed as required. Instead Dawn Homes are attempting to push this path construction back to some point in the next phases of construction.

  1. Children’s play area

Again, a small benefit, but one that becomes more important to our community due to the closure of NAC funded play areas earlier this year.

This is not going to be completed as required, again because of the mismanagement of the site. The play area can only be constructed once all the houses nearby are complete.

Dawn Homes could easily have constructed the houses in a different order to enable this to happen, yet they chose to build the houses closest to the play area site last.

  1. Removal of planned affordable flats and extension of ‘temporary SUDs pond’.

Dawn Homes started to develop knowing that the site had insufficient drainage due to the insufficient capacity of the drainage culvert under the A78. So, not surprisingly the temporary SUDs pond will have to remain until three external agencies, (Transport Scotland, Network Rail and NAC), somehow find funding in the same financial year, to put a large drainage culvert under a trunk road in a small village. In the mean time the village will continue to have a potentially hazardous and very unsightly ‘pond’ near family homes.

The need for affordable housing on the ‘west coast’ means that most housing developments have to provide affordable homes, yet due to the RES3 conditions this is not the case for Dawn Homes. The affordable flats planned to be constructed where the temporary SUDs pond is currently positioned, have just simply been removed from the plans with no challenge from NAC. Even if the SUDs pond is removed, the affordable homes are extremely unlikely to be built.

We recognise that the NAC Planning Department have suggested Dawn Homes talks to Cunnighame Housing to see if flats may be viable, but this is so tenuous it is of no value to local residents or their families, hoping to benefit from such an opportunity.

  1. RES3 Anomalies
  2. ‘Trust Management’

Despite several requests for transparency the minutes and decisions of the trust are not available.

There is also a RES3 condition that funding for Kelburn Castle maintenance and conservation cannot be sourced elsewhere. Have Kelburn Estate really not received grants from other sources?

  1. Cost Plan accounting

The cost plan dated 11/01/2013 stated an anticipated community benefit to Kelburn Estate as £1,912,463. The Section 75 cost plan has replaced this with a ‘Total Land Value’ in the sum of £1,134,092. This results in a loss of £778,371 to the original RES3 community benefit surplus. Yet the Dawn Homes’ Development Return Allowance in 2013 was £2,102,108, and in the Section 75 cost plan this has increased to £3,050,434. This results in an increase in the developer’s profit of £948,326.

Without visibility of the accounts and who is being paid what under Policy RES3, how can NAC have confidence that the developers have fully complied with Criterion 6 ‘excess profit’?

Not only are village residents not benefiting from the Dawn Homes development but the planned recipients are also clearly losing out.

It seems that so far NAC have not challenged these anomalies.

Fairlie Community Council and Fairlie residents are not confident that NAC have held Dawn Homes to account for any of the unfulfilled planning conditions that matter to our village.

It seems that NAC departments are not ‘joined up’. When recently asked, the Planning Department immediately stated that RES3 conditions are not theirs to monitor but probably Legal Compliance, and that the Flooding Engineer deals with the SUDs pond and flooding issues. If internal departments are not working together how can NAC residents have confidence that their interests are being appropriately managed?

Surely Dawn Homes can be held accountable for the Phase One planning conditions before further development is permitted?

For and on behalf of Fairlie Community Council (FCC),

Yours sincerely,

Karla Tully

Karla Tully,

Secretary, FCC

SSE NOWTFF Wind Turbine Objection

Dear sir,
re the article “ Fears are unfounded ” Largs and Millport , 21st June,.at no time during the NAC Planning Committee Meeting on the 14th June did Dr Joy Tomlinson say what you quote. What she actually said in response to a Planning Committee member`s pertinent question about the effectiveness of using an epidemiological study was this “it is a rough and ready tool, it depends on how people describe things when they come in to see their doctor and different GP practices also code things differently . Picking up small changes, especially if it is just for a few months of activity (as in the case of the wind turbines at Hunterston) would be difficult.” If she did, as you claim, e mail it post meeting to the press then it is unfortunate that both A-Anhs representatives are sticking to the same incorrect statement that there is no good published evidence that wind turbines and associated infrasound adversely affect humans.

Ayrshire and Arran NHS surely must have known that continuing to use this inappropriate type of study was a waste of time. For Ms Henderson A-A nhs to refer to this study as though valid, and to use it to shore up her inaccurate and outdated statements is misleading and a disservice to the community. She refers to the Advisory Group on non ionising Radiation`s AGNIR`s report (2010) on infrasound which is all about ultrasound with five lines devoted to infrasound.

AGNIR state Infrasound is not a priority research project due to financial constraints. It does not say there is no harm to health from infrasound.

Ms Henderson`s 6 minute waffle about cancer clusters and infectious diseases, neither of which relate to the detrimental health effects suffered by those exposed to the infrasound and very low frequencies produced by the Mitsubishi Sea Angel test wind turbine, is a poor substitute for her expected written submission to NAC. This had been promised to Fairlie Community Council well before the Planning Committee meeting on the 14th June. Where is it?

In the middle of all her long and rather irrelevant statement there is an honest nugget…she says “ there is a direct causation between infrasound and damage to health “. Pity it was lost amongst all the other unfinished sentences, dropped in phrases attempting to give credence to a very poor report. There is a cohort of people seriously and adversely affected by the inappropriate location of the offshore wind turbines at Hunterston. A normal wind turbine has a setback distance of 2km and it only produces a third of the power of the Mitsubishi. The Mitsubishi is 2.5Km from Fairlie and Millport . The two huge wind turbines are causing detrimental neurological and physiological effects as soon as they start to turn.. SSE lease the site from Peelports. SSE run the site and own the Siemen`s turbine which has completed its testing . SSE sublet to Mitsubishi. Since autumn of last year Fairlie Community Council and local individuals have brought the health issue to the attention of NAC, SSE, A-Anhs and HPS.. Despite the fact North Ayrshire Council , Scottish and Southern Energy, Ayrshire and Arran NHS and Health Protection Scotland`s Dr Colin Ramsay know there is a serious health problem they remain in denial and pass the buck. Last week, the CEO and legal Department of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was directly informed that its Sea Angel wind Turbine is causing ill health. We await his response. It is bad enough that all these bodies are letting our communities down . The Scottish Government needs to step in, insist the Precautionary Principle is applied , acknowledge the need for safe setback distances for offshore turbines on land and make sure until regulations governing infrasound and the extremely damaging frequencies below 10

Hertz.( because there are no regulations for these yet) are put in place testing at Hunterston is stopped.

Rita Holmes (Chairwoman Fairlie Community Council)

FCC Minutes 06/06/2017

Fairlie Community Council (FCC) Minutes 05/06/2017

Present: Rita Holmes (chairperson), Marco Piva (minute taker), Ian Hunter, David Telford of FCC; Cllrs. Alan Hill and Ian Murdoch of NAC; PC Dominic Murphy (Police); Calum Corral (press); 10 members of the public. Apologies: Karla Tully, Joan Downie (FCC); Kenneth Gibson MSP; Cllrs. Alec Gallagher and Tom Marshall (NAC).

Minutes of 08/05/2017 proposed by DT, seconded by IH.

1      Police report

– 27 incidents reported in May, 10 of which related to road traffic – none of those inside the village. This includes 3 reports of animals on the road. 3 crimes all related to the Kelburn Festival: 2 breaches of the peace, 1 assault
– questions re. traffic light and traffic island to be referred to Transport Scotland

2      Chairperson’s update

– Merchant Navy to organise a “Fly the Red Ensign Day” (Sept 3rd). Fairlie to organise a flag hoisting event. DT to contact bowling club and Fairlie Quay

3      NAC Councillors and MSP update

– NAC: no updates
– No MSP present

4            Hunterston SSG update

– June 1st SSG was cancelled due to elections and a planned emergency exercise
– Next meeting Sept 7th, Seamill Hydro, 1:30pm; possible meeting in Aug for changes to membership/constitution

5            NOWTTF update

– Planning committee (new chair: Cllr. Tom Marshall) to meet Wed June 14th to discuss appl. for extension
– 5 groups applied to address committee as objectors, incl. Mr. Ronald Gilchrist and Dr. Yelland (or Melvin Grosvenor). Total time available, 10 min [although AH thinks they will be granted more time if they ask for it]
– Background noise checks to commence on Tue June 13th
– 28-page report by Prof. Alun Evans uploaded on NAC Planning website
– DT: Mr. Gilchrist’s complaint letter hasn’t been logged on NAC planning website yet. This is unacceptable; letters will also be collected separately for clarity
– NHS Ayrsh. & Arran has been asked for a submission, none has been filed yet
– AH: be aware that a decision against the extension will undoubtedly be appealed against; the grounds for refusal must be clear and grounded. Offer a clear and detailed documented (not longer than a page of text) to be minuted at the committee meeting. The appeal will focus only on the official reasons for refusal
– AH: if decision is delayed (background noise report won’t be ready until late June), the earliest one will be taken is Aug
– IM: on document to present to committee, also focus on lack of job creation as was instead declared initially and on the fact that the initial agreement was for 5 years and 5 years only
– David Nairn: suggestion to also mention problems suffered by wildlife

6            Fairlie Castle update

– FCC wrote the Scot. Minister re. community dissatisfaction with how the issue was handled
– David McNeur: excavation should be stopped until scheduled monument consent is gained, they seem to be ongoing
– AH to find more details from NAC Planning

7            A78 (traffic island and “experimental” traffic light)

– no updates; KT to get in touch with Transport Scotland

8      Southannan Housing update

– DT: application for 8 new houses; FCC objected (terms of original sale mentioned no further housing, and the area is surrounded by community woodland)
– AH: on local planning the area is amber, but the wooded area is red

9      Hunterston

– no application for decommissioning of oil rigs filed, only a screening opinion asking if full environmental impact assessment is necessary; Marine Scotland involved

10      Dawn Homes

– AH: there is a draft for building of new houses, but no application. Probably won’t be filed very soon

11   FCC Finance

– printing of leaflets and posters for public meeting re NOWTFF: £60
– DT: would it be possible to apply for funding from NAC to pay for experts and consultants re. NOWTFF?
– RH: fundrising probably more effective. Consultants’ expenses until now paid by RH off her own pocket
– IH: RH and KT to be added as signatories for FCC bank account (replacing Steve Graham). No objections from FCC

12      New Computer and Printer

– funding received from Magnox; KT to make the purchase

13      FCC Membership

– Sarah Bowden working in London; David Nairn volunteered to take her place; no objections, David Nairn joins FCC

14      AOB

a: Shore Path
– John Riddle: stretch between Ferry Row and Bay Str. awaiting consent from Marine Scotland; NAC or ACOM should have advertised application for licence on paper. AH to find out if application has been filed
– the money has a timescale; AH to find out when expiration date is

b: Pavements
– low-hanging tree branches preventing circulation on East side Main Str pavements: Glen Rd to Causeway and past School Brae
– suggestion to hand out a leaflet asking residents to take care of trees in private gardens
– IM to find out who is in charge of trees growing in public areas (possibly Transerv)

Next meeting, 03/07/2017, 7.30 pm at the Semple Centre, Main Str.