Posted by: tireecottage | March 6, 2011

Letter about Tiree Array

Dear Sir,
I have been reading with concern about the Tiree Array and as a visitor to Tiree for the past twenty years I hope you do not mind if I use An Tirisdeach to ask a few questions as I am now more confused than before with more questions than answers so would welcome any and all comments to a few simple questions.

Firstly on the subject of vested interests in this project I can understand how this project primarily benefits a Spanish developer, Scottish Power Renewables, and the Crown Estates but I am not certain I understand whom else are beneficiaries as the one extremely important group that under current legislation have absolutely no entitlement to any compensation or any rights whatsoever are the good people of Tiree.

2 What measures are planned to protect the people and heritage of Tiree from the inevitable human impact on its fragile Island community and heritage, exactly how many people will be moving to the Island and will they bring
children for the school and new permanent residents or is it proposed that there is just a fleet of transitory migrant workers to build and maintain the wind farm. Will MacLeod’ s have a new Polish food section as does our local Tesco’ s to accommodate the islands’ new guests.

3 Transport is always an issue in the islands and Cal-Mac often struggles to service the people and businesses of Tiree as it is, so how will Cal-Mac cope with the hugely increased demands for freight and people for the new Array. Will they build a new ferry, build better facilities or inevitably just struggle on with more delays, cancellations and problems for the beleaguered residents, businesses and visitors of Tiree. How will the roads cope with the huge increase in demand, or can I assume of course that Argyll council is ready, willing and just waiting to repair, restore and rebuild the islands’ roads, very much as they do today.

4 If the Tiree Trust is the definitive representative voice of the whole island community I am not certain I understand why full trust membership is limited to only full time residents, surely all those that own land on the Island including holiday home owners who have a large financial stake on the Island should also be allowed some level of

5 As the development is deemed offshore, the people of Tiree apparently absolutely have no right to be consulted, have absolutely no right to any compensation and are thus entirely reliant on the goodwill of a Spanish developer and any promises of the Scottish Government to protect the interests and future of the Island and its people. I can
find no comments online from SEPA or SNH, the two institutions whose apparent primary function is to protect and look out for fragile environments and communities like Tiree. Nor can I find any comment from the Duchy of Cornwall whose leader has been very vocal previously about onshore wind farm developments.

The Tiree Trust and other groups are working hard and doing a great job to highlight individual issues and keep everybody informed but might it be time for a local referendum of all concerned people including residents, nonresident landowners and even the greater readership of An Tirisdeach to establish the wishes and concerns of the
people and friends of Tiree.

6 Whilst I fully support renewable energy, the question is at what cost. Tiree fishermen will lose significant fishing grounds, Crofters disruption to their livestock and grazings, Visitors will hardly want to stay at Turbine View and if history is correct the developers will bypass the local businesses to use national hauliers and suppliers, and islanders with have to compete for jobs with the partners of the temporary residents.

7 – What will be the legacy of this project as it only has a proposed working life of some twenty years and notwithstanding the damage to the community and heritage of Tiree will the island and the seas around Tiree be littered with post wind farm wrecks, derelict buildings and general debris to add to the visually highly attractive legacy
of the last transitory residents from the last war.

Finally I would like to remind everybody that this is an election year so until the 5th May is the only time if you are very lucky you might just get an MSP to talk to or listen to you, though good luck on that one.
Angus Barlas

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