SSE to shut down equipment powering the Beauly-Denny Line after noise complaints from Residents. Hugh Balfour-Paul has complained that since the line went live he has not had a nights sleep. His house is only 330yds from the line which is yet only operating at some 25-30% of capacity. He describes it as like a microwave beside you all night. After living there 30 years they are now looking to move. Health concerns include headaches, tinnitus and general lethargy. Residents at the famous Aigas Field Centre on the other side of the valley have expressed similar complaints. SHET, the SSE company operating the line, plan to switch off pieces of equipment as a process of elimination to tackle the concerns. The pantomime comment “it’s behind you” could be seen as particularly apt in this case. They are presently employing a noise consultant as an independent arbiter(who pays their bills?) to identify the problem. The Highland Council EHO noise officer has already identified the problem as a statutory nuisance. Major noise issues are in the Wester Balblair area close to the Beauly-Denny sub-station but Hugh is not the only person suffering serious noise issues from the new overhead (400kva) lines in the area. Large scale opposition was voiced about this line and the request that it be under-grounded in this area. The concerns raised at the time have been proven to be fact except ten times worse than the residents ever envisaged. This photo was in Aug 2012 and there has been twelve months work of addition transformers and balancing equipment fitted since.
To compound the pain this area is suffering a great deal of upheaval with the creation of the new Beauly-Mossford line which is being constructed to take the power from the Lochluichart and Corriemollie windfarms. To add insult to injury, SSE has recently applied for a large extension to the Fairburn Wind Farm, right on the edge of this area. The penalty of the construction of the Beauly-Denny line from Wester Balblair is the feeding frenzy of wind sharks wanting to connect to the line. SSE and the Scottish Government are treating the local people with absolute contempt. During the Clearances the Landlords at least gave their dispossessed tenants a ticket to the new worlds. We just see the value of our properties plummet as the area becomes an industrial wasteland. Even those initially supportive of renewables are horrified at what is happening. Should the Western Isles High Voltage DC line be built, we can look forward to another four years construction and another Doubling of the size of Wester Balbair with an admitted large increase in noise and visual pollution from the DC/AC convertors.
The Poluticians that approved this and pushed it through against strong opposition should hang their heads in shame at the way they have treated the honest hard working Scottish people. Perhaps justice will be done and they will end up being tried for crimes against humanity! In the meantime the Highland Council, local Councillors and local Community Council are working hard, often against the odds, to find a satisfactory solution to the problem. Transparency and communications are not SSE’s forte.