Go-ahead for 18-turbine Scottish wind farm

Scottish ministers have approved plans for an 18-turbine wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway, in line with a recommendation from a reporter who concluded that negative landscape and tourism impacts would be acceptable.

Wind energy: Dumfries and Galloway scheme approved
Wind energy: Dumfries and Galloway scheme approved

Developer E.ON Climate and Renewables UK Development Limited submitted the application for the scheme across a 1,230-hectare site approximately five kilometres north east of Carsphairn.

The development would comprises of 18 turbines with a hub height of 80 metres and a total height to blade tip of 130 metres.

A reporter’s report to Scottish ministers said that the scheme had not been opposed by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

However, it said that neighbouring East Ayrshire Council had argued that the applicant had not had "sufficient regard to the adverse landscape and visual impacts of the proposal".

The report said that the site had been identified in the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study as being suitable for such development.

The reporter said that, in the "context of policies supporting wind farm development both generally and within the vicinity of the site, I do not find the predicted landscape effects (including cumulative effects) to be unacceptable".

"Overall, there are relatively few significant landscape and visual impacts", the reporter said.

Elsewhere, the reporter said that he found "no convincing evidence that the mere visibility of wind turbines would have any significant impact on tourism and recreation".

"It would be surprising if the ability to see a wind farm from the A 713 for a few minutes significantly influenced travel or visitor behaviour", he said.

The report said that the scheme would give rise to benefits including a contribution to the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets and "economic benefits associated with any large scale capital expenditure".

"Overall, I found that the landscape and visual impacts and the impact on tourism and recreation would be acceptable", the reporter concluded.

Scottish ministers agreed with the reporter's recommendation and the application was approved. 

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