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Closed 01/06/2023

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£50
raised of £5,000 target by 2 supporters

    Weʼve raised £50 to Help Galloway Without Pylons pay for our two "experts" to complete the submissions process following the end of the KTR Public Inquiry.

    Funded on Thursday, 1st June 2023

    Don't have time to donate right now?

    Story

    We are Galloway Without Pylons (GWP), a local action group, set up to protect a beautiful area of Dumfries and Galloway from being blighted by 118 giant pylons over 32.5 km between Glenlee and Tongland. The project proposed by Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN), who are owned by the Spanish energy conglomerate Iberdrola, cuts through the Galloway Forest Park close to major tourist attractions such as the Queensway Crossing, Raiders Road, Loch Stroan, Otter Pool, Red Kite Trail, Kennick Burn (and the ancient beech avenue), the Bennan, Slogarie and Laurieston Forests and Barstobrick.

    SPEN applied for a 132kV overhead pylon line (OHL) from Kendoon to Tongland. Dumfries and Galloway Council objected to their planning application so the application has gone to a public inquiry.

    GWP want the section between Glenlee and Tongland undergrounded and argue that the extra cost should be spent to preserve the environment, wildlife and the local tourist industry. SPEN state “it is acknowledged by SPEN that the underground option is, in each case, technically feasible and, on balance, environmentally preferable having regard to landscape and visual as well as forestry impacts”.

    Undergrounding takes place all over the world and has been done in the UK in many areas of outstanding natural beauty. We believe that the Galloway Forest Park, the most visited outdoor attraction in Dumfries & Galloway should be awarded the extra funds that could be made available.

    The Scottish Government have received over 900 objections and not a single representation of support. GWP is supported by 23 Community Councils, Alister Jack M.P., Finlay Carson MSP, Emma Harper MSP, Colin Smyth MSP, Oliver Mundell MSP, the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, RSPB, Scottish Forestry and many other businesses and institutions.

    The RSPB have stated that they have significant concerns about the potential collision risk for nightjars. 95% of the Scottish population of this protected species is to be found in Dumfries and Galloway. The RSPB also have concerns for raptors including, golden eagles, osprey, goshawks and red kites.

    Many land mammals found near the OHL route are included in the Scottish Governments Bio Diversity List. Water vole, brown hare, otter, pine marten, red squirrels and a variety of bats are listed either for conservation action or where negative action should be avoided.

    The Bio Diversity list also includes the following reptiles/amphibians where negative action should be avoided. These are the common toad, great crested newt, palmate newt, slow worm, adder and common lizard. All are found in the area of the OHL and just to give one example, thousands of toads can be seen in late summer on forestry tracks in the area, tracks that will accommodate heavy construction vehicles for the access to the pylon sites and quarries.

    A public inquiry of this magnitude is complicated and SPEN will spend many thousands of pounds on legal assistance. It became obvious after experiencing the inquiry preliminary meetings that GWP, in spite of our massive support, were up against a juggernaut and that we desperately needed legal help. We found an expert planning/power generation consultant and a very experienced KC to help us at a very agreeable cost.

    The Public Inquiry which lasted for 6 weeks ended on the 30th November. This was a mammoth undertaking for everyone concerned and our two “experts” were brilliant and worked incredibly hard in preparation for the Inquiry, during the Inquiry and since preparing their final submissions to the Scottish Government. We agreed a fee of £10,000 for both of them but owing to circumstances out of their control they did a lot more work and have paid them £15,000 to date. One of the reasons was that Dumfries & Galloway Council, who objected to the application which triggered the Public Inquiry withdrew 7 days before the Inquiry started. This created a lot more work for everyone.

    Their fee was extremely reasonable. To put it into context, the councils legal bill just for preparing for the Inquiry was almost £70,000.

    GWP were originally tasked to submit their final submission by Jan 9th 2023 but the Scottish Government, since the Inquiry finished on 30th November, have published 4 major reports and have stated “Parties are invited to provide comments on how, if at all, this document affects their case to the inquiry and its relevance to this proposal.” The final submissions have to be completed by 21st Feb 2023.

    The publications are (a) National Policy Framework 4, (b) Scottish Government Onshore Wind Policy Statement 2022, (c) Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, (d) Scottish Biodiversity Strategy to 2045.

    Our two experts, especially our planning/power generation consultant, will now have to do a great deal more work. The amount of work was illustrated when SPEN’s legal team asked for a 4 week extension stating they wouldn’t be able to complete the work in time. This has been agreed and the completion date is now 21st March.

    STOP PRESS. As I am writing SPEN have just requested another extension and the completion date is now April 13th.

    The "David v Goliath" analogy has just increased but with your help we can complete the last part of the process which will give us a good chance of success.

    If you feel able to help our cause with a donation it will be very much appreciated by GWP, the local communities and tourists who enjoy visiting our beautiful area.

    Thank you.

    www.gallowaywithoutpylons.org

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      Page last updated on: 2/18/2023 18.49

      Supporters

      2

      • Neil Picken

        Neil Picken

        Feb 18, 2023

        We must protect our beautiful region

        £25.00

      • Jo Bell

        Jo Bell

        Feb 15, 2023

        £25.00

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      About the fundraiser
      Paul Swift

      Paul Swift

      I have been co-ordinating GWP's action since 2016 with the support of the community, organisations, businesses, community councils and politicians.

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