Urgent: We need more time to respond (I’m please to say SPEN have listened to us and we now have to the 31 August 2015)

It is now becoming apparent that many residents within Dumfries & Galloway who are potentially affected by this proposal are beginning to think deeply about how to respond and the same is true for a number of Community Councils who only meet every 4-6 weeks. At the consultation SPEN held yesterday in Dunscore Village Hall it became … More Urgent: We need more time to respond (I’m please to say SPEN have listened to us and we now have to the 31 August 2015)

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Well-being: how we feel aboutwhere we live!

Yesterday I talked about the recent ONS UK survey of well-being and how this proposal by Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) could reduce the capital value (the value of our homes) by something in the order of £100m. Today I want to discuss another, potentially more important, element of this survey – that is, how we feel about … More Well-being: how we feel aboutwhere we live!

Loss of economic capital: what will SPENs proposal cost the region?

Yesterday I talked about negative externalities and I gave an example from a paper by Sims and Dent (2005) in relation to their research into determining the effect of power lines and pylons and how they negatively impact the value of adjacent homes. Today I have been reading about National Well-being, something the government keeps … More Loss of economic capital: what will SPENs proposal cost the region?

What about the value of my home: will it fall in value and by how much?

A paper by Sally Sims and Peter Dent of Oxford Brookes University explores this subject, albeit in an urban environment. They found that if an overhead line is within 100m of a property it reduces the value by up to 17% whereas if a pylon is within 250m of a property it can reduce in value … More What about the value of my home: will it fall in value and by how much?

No Internet: how best to handle this?

Several concerned residents have been in touch to report problems with internet communications.  Firstly, in upland rural areas quite a number of people don’t have a land-line telephone connection and consequently don’t have broadband access.  Secondly, a number have elderly neighbours who don’t have access to a PC. Both groups, although concerned about Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) proposal … More No Internet: how best to handle this?

Petitioning: but what is it we want to petition about?

When we first looked into creating an on-line petition on behalf of concerned residents in Dumfries & Galloway against Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) Strategic Reinforcement Project the first question that came to mind was: what is the basis of the petition?  In other words, what do we want to petition about? That’s a tough question because it … More Petitioning: but what is it we want to petition about?

Blight: at what price?

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines blight as “a thing that spoils or damages something” and I can’t help feeling that this is exactly what Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) wants to do to the beautiful Galloway scenery with their proposal to install a 400kV ‘supergrid’ overhead network throughout the region. So by definition they wish to blight … More Blight: at what price?

The Aarhus Convention: why begin communicating when all options are open?

Reflecting on Article 6, Clause 4 of the Convention today I began to think about the motives of the people who drafted the Aarhus Convention back in 1998 that caused them to include the words, “when all options are open” in the clause – which reads in full, “Each party shall provide for early public participation, when all options are open and … More The Aarhus Convention: why begin communicating when all options are open?

Access to Justice in Environmental Matters: the Aarhus Convention

Reading the Aarhus Convention today in relation to Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) Strategic Reinforcement Project I came across Article 6, Clause 3.  This says “… public participation procedures shall include reasonable time-frames for the different phases, allowing sufficient time for informing the public … and for the public to prepare and participate effectively …” Concerned residents … More Access to Justice in Environmental Matters: the Aarhus Convention

The future: with no further public subsidy for on-shore wind farms

Dumfries & Galloway already has over 380MW of generating capacity from operational on-shore wind farms (www.renewableuk.com) which is enough to supply the annual electrical energy consumption of over 180,000 homes, or 2.6 times the number of households in our region (Housing Information Briefing Note Number 1: Estimates of Household Dwellings in D&G, 2012). The implication of drawing a … More The future: with no further public subsidy for on-shore wind farms