Old Course complains over Uni’s windfarm proposals

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The University of St Andrews’ plans for a windfarm on the outskirts of St Andrews could be under threat after the owners of the Old Course Hotel lodged a formal complaint earlier this month.

In the objection drafted to Fife Council, the hotel warned that the plans for six 100m turbines at Kenly Farm, near Boarhills, would have “detrimental visual and economic impacts” on St Andrews, particularly in relation to tourism.

“The impression that may be taken by visitors to the town and its facilities will not be what was expected or anticipated by them, in terms of their currently being able to enjoy views of an unspoilt landscape,” stated the complaint, drafted by consultancy firm Colliers on behalf of the Old Course.

The University hopes that the planned windfarm will offset rising energy costs, which have risen to £5.4m a year, as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Herb Kohler, the owner of the Old Course Hotel, purchased Hamilton Hall, the former University residence overlooking the Old Course’s 18th green, in 2009, and is currently developing the formerly derelict property into luxury private residences, to be called the Hamilton Grand. It is understood there are significant concerns over the detrimental impact of the windfarm to the views of Hamilton Grand residents.

The University and the St Andrews’ Student Association were united in expressing their support for the windfarm plans in response to the hotel’s concerns.

Roddy Yarr, the University’s Environment and Energy Manager, told The Saint: “One might argue that the business community could applaud the foresight of an institution that is making positive steps towards actually doing something about climate change, tackling rising energy costs, providing its own energy source, reducing its exposure to volatile energy markets and developing a community fund.”

Yarr highlighted the windfarm’s positive eco-credentials and potential for job-creation and contribution to the Scottish economy.

Student Association president Patrick O’Hare argued that opposition to the plans reflected “scaremongering from a privileged minority who don’t want their retirement view ruined by a few wind turbines.”

The Old Course’s complaint coincides with accusations from US billionaire business magnate Donald Trump that Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is “hell bent on destroying Scotland’s coastline” with the installation of wind turbines. “You will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history,” Trump wrote to Salmond over the plans.

Photo: Dan Phillips at http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/local-headlines/luxury_hotel_raises_a_storm_over_kenly_windfarm_plans_1_2093039

11 COMMENTS

  1. As far as over-privileged goes, St Andrews has by a long way the most privileged student body in Scotland. And it’s going to get a whole lot more privileged and less diverse because the University is about to charge UK students who don’t live in Scotland £9000 pa in tuition fees. That means, £36,000 for the degree (Scottish degrees are all 4 years) if you’re English, Welsh, or Northern Irish. Nice one Patrick!

  2. There is a huge debate about wind going on outside the St Andrews bubble. Every single one of Roddy Yarr’s statements is questionable. If you want to hear debate from people who are experts in their fields, come to St Andrews Town Hall on March 1st, 7.15pm to the free event IS WIND THE ANSWER?

  3. It looks to me as of you need to do some serious study about wind turbines before letting your ill formed opinions loose. Do not forget that a lot of the money that pays your fees comes from retired people who have every right to protest at the desecration of wonderful countryside. That countryside brings in a lot of tourist money, some of which also pays your fees. When you are mature you will perhaps understand.

  4. It’s quite frightening, listening to Patrick O’Hare’s pronouncements. I think he needs to keep his mouth shut and his mind open, until he’s had a modicum of contact with humanity, and learnt a little about the way the world works.

  5. Bumptiousness of youth used to abate by the time people reached their twenties. The reason for this was that older and wiser folk used to knock off the rough edges. It was always perceived that students in esteemed Universities would lead the way in maturity of thinking. Many alumni must be shaking their heads and those departed must be spinning. What a great way to achieve good relationships between town and gown!

  6. In these difficult financial times I think that the University and the student population should recognise that they are in St Andrews for but a brief time, whereas many objectors are here for the long term and many businesses have invested heavily, relying on the natural heritage asset which is the Scottish countryside. Long after Patrick O’Hare has departed his role and left St Andrews, the rest of us would have to live with the results of his misplaced and unjustifed class prejudice.”

  7. Bumptiousness of youth used to abate by the time people reached their twenties. The reason for this was that older and wiser folk used to knock off the rough edges. It was always perceived that students in esteemed Universities would lead the way in maturity of thinking. Many alumni must be shaking their heads and those departed must be spinning. What a great way to achieve good relationships between town and gown!

  8. Roddy Yarr, Dream on. (One) winds farms do not save CO2 and therefore have no bearing on Climate Change. Latest data shows CO2 follows Climate Change and not the other way around. (Two) Energy Prices are artificially inflated by ROCs. Gas has gone down and as more alternative energy from Nuclear, Osmotic Generation and the rest comes on line, coal prices will come down in line with the market. Only inflated by subsidy renewables will go up. You sound like you have swallowed Scottish Renewables Prospectus. You are at a leading University. Challenge the dogma, don’t swallow it!

  9. “scaremongering from a privileged minority who don’t want their retirement view ruined by a few wind turbines.”

    Really? Is that your line? Once upon a time, we could count on students to ask hard questions and at least try to fight the deceptions perpetrated by big business and government. To protect the land and the life of the land, (bird, animal, plant, human) and to demand *appropriate* technology. Right now, you are playing politics in a rather lame and predictable way. Why not become truly radical and stop following the herd?

    You’ll sneer at this. You sneer rather well. Good luck to you.

  10. Thank you Patrick O’Hare for standing up for our future. Contrary to what commentators above have suggested, wind farms save large amounts of CO2 and any argument to the contrary is based on falsely skewed and cherry-picked data. In addition, CO2 levels do not follow climate change: this suggestion has not been published in any peer reviewed scientific literature and comes from a denial industry funded by the world’s largest polluters.

    I hope some of the commentators above will reflect on the fact that they have most likely led a very comfortable life, and that this has been made possible primarily by the burning of vast quantities of fossil fuels for energy. I hope that they will therefore think twice in future before attempting to block solutions to the devastating impacts of climate change – which have come about as a result of this use of fossil fuels – and which are already threatening the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

    If the above commentators still see fit to try to block solutions such as wind power for aesthetic reasons, I hope that they are ashamed of their selfishness.

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