Scottish government blocks 30-turbine wind farm

The Scottish government's energy minister has refused planning consent for a proposed 30 turbine wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway, after ruling that the scheme's negative landscape impact could not be successfully mitigated.

Wind power: 30-turbine scheme blocked
Wind power: 30-turbine scheme blocked

The Sandy Knowe Wind Farm was proposed by developer Burcote Wind for land south of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm. The application was for 30 turbines with a capacity of 90MW.

In making his decision, energy minister Fergus Ewing agreed with the findings of Scottish Natural Heritage, which had raised "serious concerns" over the cumulative impact and adverse landscape and visual affect the wind farm would have in Upper Nithsdale, Dumfries and Galloway.

A decision letter said that the development had "garnered some support from local communities and very little objection", but ministers considered that the landscape and visual impacts "cannot be satisfactorily addressed" and outweighed the benefits the development would bring.

Ewing said the Scottish government had to take a "balanced approach" to renewable energy and "consider what impact any development would have on the local area".

"The Scottish government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish Planning Policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable," he said.

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