Council rejects eight-turbine wind farm

A Scottish council has refused an application to build an eight-turbine 20MW wind farm in a remote location because of the scheme's impact on a designated Regional Scenic Area.

Wind farm: council refused permission
Wind farm: council refused permission

Dumfries and Galloway Council also said that the applicant Brookfield Renewable UK’s proposal for a remote site at Larbrax, near Leeswalt, risked making wind farms a "defining characteristic" of the area. It said than 90 turbines had already been built within a 30 kilometre radius of the site and a further 150 were either under construction or approved.

Letters of support for the scheme, which would have featured turbines up to 100 metres tall, outnumbered objections by a factor of more than two to one. However councillors sided with officer advice to refuse the proposals, underpinned by the recommendations of the council’s landscape architect.

In a report to a meeting of the council’s planning applications committee last week, officers said that while the proposed development would make a small contribution to the Scottish Government's renewable energy target, that did not outweigh the impacts that the proposed turbines would have on the local landscape which is designated as a Regional Scenic Area.

"The proposed wind farm would increase the extent and influence of wind turbine development such that they would become a defining characteristic in the area between Cairnbrock and Larbrax," the report said.

Officers added that the proposals also did not respect the special qualities of the North Rhins Coast Regional Scenic Area and would "materially detract" from coastal views.

Brookfield Renewable UK said it was disappointed by the decision.

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