Hydro Steering Group – Appeal for Additional Members

24 residents attended a public meeting in the Village Hall on Tuesday,  31 March to discuss the formation of a Hydro Steering Group for the proposed Hydro schemes in Ardentinny.

Chairperson, Dougie Menzies explained that the purpose of the meeting was to set up a Steering Group which would be tasked with drawing up the Constitution of a future Hydro Trust and the appointment of its Trustees which would then manage the income from renewable energy projects on behalf of the community.

He said that a pre steering group had been formed after the developer Co Hydrover approached the Community Council. This group of 8 included Ian McInnes MBE; Councillor Bruce Marshall; and National Park representative, David Mackenzie. However, they were keen to recruit a wider group of people in order to tap into the wealth of ideas and skills across the community to establish a formal Steering Group.

It was stressed that it was not the intention to discuss the project in detail, as it was in the very early stages and it was suggested that the developer was already experiencing delays liaising with Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS).

Mr. Malcolm Crosby, FCS Project Manager for Onshore Renewables informed us that, while he had been unaware of Tuesday night’s meeting, the developer had met with representatives of Ardentinny Community Council in January and that normal procedures for progressing the project were underway. He explained that FCS’ solicitors must first check the Titles of the land in question and that that process had begun. In the meantime, the developer can conduct walk-over surveys, something the Chair affirmed had begun, but any investigative drilling work etc. must wait for their solicitors’ report and its acceptance by the developer.

There will be an opportunity to discuss the project with the developer at a future public meeting later in the year but the current focus is to open up membership of the Steering Group to everyone in the village.

Ian McInnes suggested that it would be useful to have the publication of the Community Action Plan coincide with the developer’s public meeting. An example of a project that they have already been involved in is that of Kilfinnan Community Forest.

It was pointed out that the future Hydro Trust would manage income from all Hydro Schemes. For example, Ross MacArthur’s private scheme, which is a  little further on, would be included. Indeed other renewables projects could be included which are not necessarily limited to hydro. David Mackenzie referred to other Trusts which handle not only income but outgoings where communities have decided to invest in certain schemes in order to obtain a greater return.This could be another item for consideration by the Steering Group.

A question was raised as to how open Trust membership would be and the response was that that would be a decision for the Steering Group. FCS have published regulations on “Defining an appropriate community organisation” for communities to receive community benefit from developer-led renewable energy projects on the National Forest Estate   Also Argyll and Bute Council’s Onshore Renewables Community Benefits Consultation results, which are currently being collated, could be another useful information source for the future Steering Group.

The Chair then asked for volunteers to join the Steering Group and a further 8 came forward. The group comprised:

Dougie Menzies

Ian McInnes

David Mackenzie

Bruce Marshall

Neil Robinson

Val Kennedy

Marian Norris

Eileen Connell

Rob Bray

Malcolm Bartley

Linda Naismith

Jeanette Riley

Catriona McPhail

Guy Elder

Lynn Kerr

Bill Williamson

Anyone else in the village who would like to join is welcome to do so. If you are interested in participating, contact Dougie Menzies on 01369 810307. 

Four potential hydro schemes proposed for Ardentinny

According to information obtained at Ardentinny Community Day on 21 March, the consortium Co-Hydrover is proposing 4 commercial hydro schemes on the following sites with potential financial benefits for the community.

We understand that a group of selected residents with expertise in Green energy and/or the setting up of a Charitable Trust are meeting soon, with a public consultation to follow in May.

Click for zoomable map.
Note: locations are approximate & taken from the provided data below.  Click image for zoomable map.
hyrdro1
Near Schoolhouse Burn/forest path
hydro2
Near Baron Turner forest path (catchment 1).
hydro3
Near Baron Turner forest path (catchment 2).
hydro4
West of Fingal’s Well

Onshore Renewables – Community Benefit Consultation

IMG_0800-1In view of the potential onshore renewables projects in Ardentinny which have recently been raised at  Ardentinny Community Council meetings, residents may wish to participate in Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Benefit Consultation.

The Council has drawn up a framework for community benefits from onshore renewables which will replace its 2005 policy. You may view this draft document here. You are invited to provide your feedback here.

Responses should be submitted no later than 13 March 2015.

Warning to dog owners of poisonous plant on Ardentinny beach (updated)

beach_plant

We’ve received a report of a very poisonous plant which has appeared along the high tide mark on Ardentinny Beach (between Coronation Wood and River Finart estuary). The plant is starting to root in the vegetation. A labrador was reportedly sick from eating the plant last Sunday.

We understand that the plant is poisonous to dogs and humans. It smells and tastes like parsnips. If anyone can identify the plant from the photograph, please let us know.

Please take care when walking your dogs in the beach area.

Update 28 Jan, 23.36: We’ve been informed that the plant is Hemlock Water Dropwort, thought to be the deadliest plant in Britain. A dog in Helensburgh who ate the plant last January died within 20 minutes.

More information:
Poisonous plant warning to dog owners [Scottish Farmer]

Defibrillator for Ardentinny

2014-12-12_10-24-12A project, led by Community Council secretary, Roy Harrison, to raise money for a village defibrillator has achieved its aim. The sum of £2,264 has been raised for its purchase. It will be sited on the wall of Ferry House at the top of Ardentinny Centre’s slipway. Once in place, training in its use will be provided to as many people as wish to volunteer.

Related link:

AED Locator website