North Uist Spaceport

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Nooie
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North Uist Spaceport

Post by Nooie » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:23 pm

Hello all, this is my first post here. Sorry for asking for help on my first post, but it's something important.

We have an unspoilt area on the North West of North Uist. It's the closest point to the St Kilda archipelago. Our local council has bought land for £1000,000 without consulting the local community and plan to stick a spaceport on it.

Rockets will be 26m high and 2m wide carrying over 40 tonnes of Hydrogen peroxide and kerosene. The area is in an NSA and has lots of wildlife from eagles to otters. It's a great coastline for sea kayaking and there have also been some climbing routes set there.

During phase one of the development, they are hoping to launch 6m sounding rockets, but phase two (which they don't want to Talk about) will launch 26m rockets. There is a group trying to stop this development and hoping the land could be used in a more traditional farming (possibly educational) or eco way. I don't know if many here have been to Scolpaig on Griminish Point, but any help would be great! Please sign the petition or even better write a letter of objection.

https://www.friendsofscolpaig.org/how-to-object

Thank you!

mcgruff
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Re: North Uist Spaceport

Post by mcgruff » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:21 pm

To be honest I think the locals should decide if they want it. Would be reasonable to stipulate environmental requirements at a national level but if the development can fulfil these the final decision should be with the people of North Uist.

Nooie
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Re: North Uist Spaceport

Post by Nooie » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:18 am

I am a local Uibhisteach from North Uist, born and raised. I live 3 miles from this development. The council have bought the land (for £1, 000,000 with borrowed money) without consultation of the local population, haven't bothered with an EIA. They have applied for planning permission to themselves and would have granted it by now had it not been mentioned at a community council meeting and subsequent vocal feedback from community members. This resulted in the planning application being stalled and community consultation events being held. Locals are against this development, but incoming consortium are saying we need it. So investors will make a lot of money destroying a part of the world they don't live in! Does anyone here support the palm oil plantations in the Amazon or Borneo? It's trhe same fu**ing thing!

mcgruff
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Re: North Uist Spaceport

Post by mcgruff » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:41 pm

If the spaceport will cause concrete environmental harm (defined as the impact on the population size of various local species) there could be a good reason to oppose the plans at a national level.

Rockets are certainly noisy, for example, but on the other hand launches will be rare events. Do the island's roads cause more harm to wildlife?

Much as I love the beauty and peace of Scotland's west coast & islands, I'd want to be very careful about imposing my own romantic notions on the communities who live there.

Nooie
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Re: North Uist Spaceport

Post by Nooie » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:40 pm

Well, the proposed site is in an NSA, which is of course of national interest! There has been a study supported by the James Hutton Institute which tells a different story from the local council's tale of doom and gloom in North Uist. As a new local nature tourism business owner myself and my partner who are native Gaelic speakers (that counts it seems), I see people coming back home to live and work, start businesses. Two of my family recently moved back from the mainland. Ths is being driven by investors who, pardon my Gaidhlig, don't give a cachd about the island. The head bummer at the consultations (which happened after the council had applied for planning to themselves!)said he didn't know about the MOD rocket testing facility a couple of islands South of us though Quinetiq are also in the consortium. This is where the first rocket launched from uk soil in 2016 or 17 could have reached space, but apparently the navy blew it up as part of their war games. We get a lot of shit washed up on the shore regularly from these activites. This is a Westminster pet project and top down decision making to find a bit of land with low population who might not be empowered to object to the disruption and damage to the environment, health and well being....

rockhopper
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Re: North Uist Spaceport

Post by rockhopper » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:42 pm

I believe a similar thing is being seriously considered at Newquay in Cornwall. Probably worth looking at their website https://spaceportcornwall.com/ and discussions on the internet about that to get an viewpoint from an alternative location. Can't see the benefit of having two separate ones in UK as it will just split possible income and make each less likely to be successful.

Rog.

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