Save Our Falls
The Calderglen Falls in Lochwinnoch needs your help! The Falls are at the top of Calder St just past the old stone bridge (Bridgend). A local developer proposes to destroy this local beauty spot by installing a micro-hydrostation. The dam is to be raised by 3 courses of stone, approx 500mm. This station will use an Archimedes screw that will extend to the top of the now raised dam, with a power house above the screw. The proposal is to construct a viewing platform on the top of the power house, as no detailed plans are available the height of the viewing platform has to be finalised, but could be 6000mm (6metres) above the top of the existing dam. A huge industrial structure in the middle of Lochwinnoch's iconic beauty spot!!! We are opposed to the implementation of this type of development, as the environmental damage and loss of a community amenity by far outweighs any possible gain to the community. Some of the specific reasons we object are:- 1. Damage to the environment. 1.1 Many rare animals and plants grow/live on or next to the river, including trees whose root systems help to stop erosion of the banks. The construction of the intake and discharge channels, automatic sluice gates, intake screens, the concrete wall alongside the screw, etc. will cause enormous disruption to the environment. For example pile driving and the diversion of the river to heighten the dam. 1.2 A crane is required in order to install (and remove for maintenance) the large plant items, screw, gearbox etc. The crane will require to be positioned to allow the boom to reach the proposed site and to swing, this will necessitate the felling of trees and the construction of a hard standing area to allow the crane boom to reach the site. 1.3 As LCDC Ltd is a Limited Company it can fold anytime, for example cash flow problems. The site works of the project could then be partially completed then abandoned, leaving others to clear up and reinstate the river environs. 2. Loss of Lochwinnoch’s iconic beauty spot 2.1 Most people regard Bridgend as one of Lochwinnoch’s beauty spots, while it is not within Muirsheil Park many local residents and visitors walk up the Glen Rd, it is a popular dog walk, with many dogs swimming in the river. The Regent Murray’s Bridge was erected in 1560 and the cottages in the 1600s. Once destroyed, it would be difficult to reinstate such a spot. 2.2 It is very likely that the Power Station will be connected to the grid using an overhead cable, felling of more trees and erection of pylons. 2.3 Parking and hard standing will be required to be built (for maintenance vehicles); at present there is only a single track road to the site. 3. More effective methods of creating renewable energy sources 3.1 There are more effective and less contentious methods of renewable energy development. For example:- 3.1.1 LEAP Car Scheme, provide an electric car & car charging point at McKillop. 3.1.2 Sewage Work at Castle Semple Loch, the existing sewage works is substantially undersized for the number of persons now living in Lochwinnoch. Recently there have been a number of occasions where raw sewage has been discharged into the loch, and the sewage plant Duty Holder has been fine by SEPA. The suggestion is that LEAP facilitate the modification of the sewage plant to accommodate the current and possible future population and incorporate a sewage gas collection scheme, could generate electricity or power a district heating scheme 3.1.3 New building at Castle Semple Loch, a new building is planned to accommodate the water based clubs at Castle Semple Loch, located in field adjacent to the existing park buildings. A community PVC scheme could be installed on roof and a community heat pump/heating scheme provided; this could heat the existing park buildings and adjacent houses. Demonstrator projects could also be incorporated in the new build, e.g. rainwater harvesting, solar water heating for showers, the list is endless!! 3.1.4 Demonstrator Zero Carbon Footprint House, LEAP could facilitate the design and building of a Zero Carbon Footprint House We feel that the proposal for a Power station is environmentally unsound and would result in the loss of amenity to the community.