The Ministers noted that the tip heights of the additional nine turbines were consistent with the tip heights of the previously consented wind farm. On this basis they considered that the extension turbines, which would have an increase in generating capacity up to 27MW, would be seen in context with the consented turbines and would appear as part of the consented development.
The Ministers considered environmental statement information which provided detailed considerations of landscape and visual impacts from the extension, in combination with the consented wind farm and cumulatively with other nearby wind farms. They were content that there was sufficient information to conclude that there would be no significant impacts as a result of the additional nine turbines.
In respect of environmental matters, the legislation placed the applicant under a duty to have regard to the desirability of preserving natural beauty, of conserving flora, fauna and geological or physiological features of special interest and of protecting sites, buildings and objects of architectural, historic or archaeological interest. In this regard The Scottish Ministers were satisfied that environmental issues could be appropriately addressed by way of mitigation, and that any impacts which remained were outweighed by the benefits the development would bring.
Ministers were also satisfied that concerns about the effect on radar at an RAF station had been resolved in the form of a financial commitment by the company to fund the costs for a defence radar mitigation scheme.
The increase in the amount of renewable energy produced was entirely consistent with the Scottish Government's policy on the promotion of renewable energy and its target to meet 100 per cent of the equivalent of Scotland's electricity demand to be met from renewable sources by 2020, the Ministers decided.
Scottish Ministers; Written representations
DCS Number 200-001-153