Lord David Kennedy & The Community Councils of Dunure, Maybole, Kirkoswald, Maidens & Turnberry
United Kingdom

The South Ayrshire coast is the land of Robert Burns and a very popular tourist destination. It is home to Culzean Castle & Country Park, the famous Turnberry Golf Course, and the weird and wonderful Electric Brae, all bounded by beautiful beaches, seascapes, rural landscapes, forests and hillsides.

A landowner, developer and misguided Community Council are proposing (yet again) to build an industrial wind farm on Knoweside Hill overlooking these national treasures. An earlier proposal was withdrawn in 2011 after a long fight, when finally recommended for refusal by the South Ayrshire Planning Department. Now the developer is back with a new proposal, with turbines nearly twice the size. At 132m these massive structures are taller than a 747 Jumbo Jet standing on its tail with blades sweeping an area the size of a football field.

Knoweside and the surrounding Carrick Hills fall within Scenic and Rural Protection Areas. Culzean Castle is, to quote Historic Scotland, “one of Scotland’s most important cultural assets, a work of art on a European scale of importance”. It is most significant for its “creation of a romantic set-piece within a pre-existing rugged Scottish landscape”. This effect is achieved by “integrating landscape features within the estate . . . and also against the backdrop of a wider landscape”. The wider landscape is, of course, Knoweside Hill.

For golfers, Turnberry is the ultimate in links courses. Site of the famous 1977 “duel-in-the-sun” between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson and three British Opens since, no golfer, spectator or casual visitor would want to see spinning turbines as a backdrop to some of the most beautiful and dramatic golf scenery anywhere.

This curious and famous stretch of road gives the feeling of going downhill when actually going uphill. The illusion is created by the surrounding landscape, dominated by Knoweside Hill. It is more than likely that very tall, towering, grey steel structures on the skyline, with massive sweeping blades, would provide a visual reference which would destroy the ages-old optical illusion of the Brae and thus disappoint the thousands of international visitors, who would, of course, stop coming.

Scotland doesn’t need any more wind turbines. Existing sites, plus those either approved or under construction will provide enough capacity to hit even the very high targets set by the current Scottish Government. Allowing this project would be the landowner’s profit, but the nation’s loss.

We cannot permit the vandalisation of South West Scotland’s most scenic coastal area. The public are being misled by the wind farm visualisations provided by the developer and by their PR propaganda, falsely claiming wide local support.

We defeated this project before and we will defeat it again. This time we are better prepared, but we need your help to demonstrate how just many people, on a local, national and international basis oppose this destructive proposal.

We respectfully ask Lord David Kennedy and the local community councils to cease their support for the proposed wind farm project, overlooking not just one, but three of Scotland's greatest national assets. We think you are being deceived about the likely visual impact of the turbines by the misleading photomontages provided by the developer.

Knoweside Hill is the dominant landscape seen from Culzean Castle, Culzean Country Park, Turnberry Golf Course, the Electric Brae, and Croy Shore. Loss of visual amenity from any one of these highly valued locations would be distressing, but to degrade the landscape of ALL of them would be devastating. There are also radar interference aviation safety concerns from nearby Prestwick airport.

Please save these assets, not only for the residents, and the businesses which depend on tourism, but also for the wider national and international community of visitors who value the beauty and amenity of this area. In doing so, you can also save the many local residents who live near the proposed site (including the northern hillside of Maybole) from the fate which has befallen those living with the constant torture of turbines in South Carrick. The Knoweside proposal has been hanging over local residents like a Sword of Damocles for nearly ten years.

This proposal is very divisive in the community, would contribute almost nothing in terms of climate change, is for a highly inappropriate site, would hurt the tourist economy and devalue the rich heritage of the area.

Please withdraw your proposal for good.

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The Save Culzean Castle, Turnberry and Electric Brae from wind turbines petition to Lord David Kennedy & The Community Councils of Dunure, Maybole, Kirkoswald, Maidens & Turnberry was written by SaveCulzean.com and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.