Known locally as Nine Springs, the headwaters of the River Lossie
The short window for public representation on this development closed on 08 Feb 2019. Although the final say with developments of this size rests with the Scottish Government, Moray Council have not yet formally considered this planning application locally so we strongly encourage you to keep making your views known to your local representatives. Contact information on our Object Now page.
The latest and greatest threat to Moray’s wild uplands is the newly proposed Clashgour development, currently applying for planning permission for 48 new turbines of up to 170 metres in height - at the core of plans for a 300 turbine Upper Lossie Wind Farm - including Berryburn 1 & 2, Pauls Hill 1 & 2, Rothes 1, 2 &3, Hill of Glaschyle, Kellas, Meikle Hill & Ourack - to be built around the headwaters of the Lossie & feeder streams of the Spey & Findhorn, Morays most iconic rivers. Visible from every corner of Moray and well beyond, this massive development will desecrate a vast area of iconic upland scenery, turn the B2010 Malt Whisky trail into a ‘Turbine alley’ between the villages of Dallas & Knockando, ruin long stretches of the Dava Way & Dava Moor, including Lochindorb, disturb precious peatland, require clear felling of hundreds of thousands of trees and disrupt the drainage dynamics of the entire Upper Lossie area, creating the potential for new flood risks along the length of the river but particularly within Dallas village and the centre of Elgin
Who’s behind the Clashgour Development
Clashgour is being developed by Clashgour Holdings Ltd, a division of EDF Renewables, with the same Directors as the highly controversial Dorenell wind farm. These same people attracted much press for the high handed way they dismissed claims for even the most minimal Community Compensation package (as proposed by the Scottish Government itself) to those most impacted by Dorenell, still being built but already hideously blighting much of upper Moray and particularly the Cabrach & Glenlivet areas. French owned, EDF have few Scottish credentials, struggle to secure requisite permissions to develop industrial wind in their own country but recognise the massive financial rewards available to multinational developers within the prevailing Scottish renewables scene. Financial rewards that all of us in Moray will directly finance through our taxes and green energy levies.
EDFs application is being fronted by Force 9 Energy, a specialised Development Company based in the Central Belt, who will instantly hand over control of the project if and when they secure Planning Permission. Force 9 fronted the Berryburn 1 proposal before handing it over to Statkraft of Norway, in partnership with Gingko Tree (the sovereign wealth fund of China). When asked to quantify the number of sustainable local jobs created by Berryburn they were reluctant to answer, knowing as we all do that these developments bring no meaningful long term employment to Moray - but instead are a nett negative to full time sustainable job opportunities in the area. (A recognised figure is 2.5 jobs lost in the area for every one created by Industrial Wind)
“Force 9 is a dedicated wind farm development company with offices in Scotland and England and with a focus on the UK market. To date, and at the time of writing, Force 9 has taken 13 developments through the planning/consenting process, seven of which have been consented. Six of these sites are in operation and one is in pre-construction. Force 9 currently has two sites under determination (including this development).” Force 9 Energy Dec 2018
“Under the terms of the JDA with EDFR, Force 9 leads on the development process of wind farm proposals up to the start of construction. Should a wind farm be consented, EDFR would take the lead during construction and subsequently own and operate the wind farm. Force 9 is supported by EDFR both financially and with staff resources requested by Force 9 on issues such as grid, access, engineering design and public relations” Force 9 Energy Dec 2018
This development is being made possible by the collaboration of Altyre Estate, Dunphail Estate and several disparate absentee land owners within the Dallas Forest area.
The most directly affected Community Councils are Finderne, Heldon & Speyside, (click here for contacts) who form part of Force 9‘s Community Liaison Group and none of which have so far expressed much opposition to these proposals. If this acquiescence runs counter to the views of real people in the area, we would suggest you contact them directly to ensure your views are properly represented at this level.
Likewise the Moray Councillors for the Clashgour area are Derek Ross & Louise Laing and whilst they will already recognise the damage these developments wreak on Moray it would be helpful for them to appreciate the depth of feeling amongst their electorate.
Key concerns over Clashgour
Cumulative Impact - forming part of the contiguous 300 Turbine Upper Lossie Wind Farm proposal
Grid connection - Force 9 Energy are already quoting the need for a NEW Pylon line to service Clashgour and other proposed developments in the area. “JH asked if F9 knew the location of the project grid connection. AS commented that there are two possibilities: either feeding into the existing 275 kV line (as used by Berry Burn) or a new line, very likely the line between Beauly and Blackhillock planned by SHETL.” Force 9 response in Community Liaison Group meeting May 2018
Tourism Impact - Clashgour / Pauls Hill 1 & 2 and Rothes 1, 2 & 3 developments will turn the Malt Whisky route between Dallas & Knockando into a Turbine Alley
Drainage & Flash floods - potentially affecting Moray’s three key rivers, the Spey, Findhorn and most particularly the Lossie - where major earthworks are being proposed all around the Upper Lossie ‘nine springs’ network, on top of massive clear felling likely to create significant sediment run off - threatening Elgin and Dallas, both already with a history of serious flooding.
Noise impact on Health - scientific studies are increasingly revealing serious health impacts from ultrasound up to 15kms from Industrial Wind Developments. The Waubra Foundation in Australia has recommended a total ban on large Turbines within 10kms of any school.
Landscape impact - In relation to Clashgour alone, the developers themselves estimate ….“The removal of 86,502 tonnes of timber would require approximately 3,461 loads or a total of 6,922 timber lorry movements. Assuming extraction of timber is completed steadily over a 2.5 year period then there would be approximately five loads of timber removed each day assuming a six day working week.” Force 9 Energy Dec 2018
Turning Morays Uplands into an Industrial Generating Station for the export of power outwith the area - “The proposed development is “a generating station, the construction of which (or the operation of which) will require a Section 36 consent but which is not Schedule 1 development”. Force 9 energy Dec 2018. “The proposed development would produce between approximately 570 and 710 Giga Watt hours (GWh) of electricity annually (based on site derived capacity factors of between 35.3% and 39.5%2). This equates to the power consumed by between approximately 150,268 and 187,664 homes, which would far exceed the energy requirements of the 40,062 homes of Moray.” Force 9 energy Dec 2018
What can I do about it
As of 08 Feb 2019 its too late to lodge a formal objection to this Planning Application with Scottish Government, but it is still worth making your views clear to Morays local representatives. Contact details on our Object Now page
Richard Lochhead, as Morays MSP appears fully supportive of the Clashgour planning application - indeed seemingly all Industrial Wind applications being made across Moray - in part justified by his contact with SIX Moray Community Councils who have expressed an interest in troughing from the Community Benefit pot that we’ll all be filling through our Energy bills and taxes. This despite it being clearly stated that Community Benefit ‘bribes’ should not become a material consideration in Planning applications. Figure that one out the best you can and register your concern with Richard Lochhead himself as well as all Community Councils, lest they be one of the six mentioned.
Email your Community Councillors, County Councillors, Moray Planning Committee members, Moray’s MP & MSP and make your views known - names & contact details on our Object Now page
The Save Wild Moray team can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org