Dalmellington Community Council have urged locals to rally round and hammer
a final nail in the coffin of a controversial wind farm.
Back in January, council chiefs received rapturous applause when they
rejected the proposal by Infinis to build eight massive wind turbines close
to the Chalmerston opencast site.
They took the decision – at a specially-arranged planning meeting in
Dalmellington – after receiving a staggering 1,183 letters of objections
from concerned residents.
But now the energy giant have appealed and Scottish Government planners
will assess the application on Wednesday, July 24.
The meeting will be held in the Community Centre at 10am and it’s hoped a
large turnout of objectors will help sway the final decision.
Sharon Rowan, secretary of the Community Council, said: “The Community
Council would strongly encourage people to attend this very important
meeting. You don’t have to speak. We just need to take a silent but united
Infinis, represented by Burnhead Wind Farm Ltd, had been hoping to build
the 100m high turbines at the site which is just 2.4km north of the town.
But the proposals were thrown out after councillors were impressed by
locals’ visions of Dalmellington’s future driven by tourism and the new
Dark Sky Observatory on Craigengillan Estate.
Before the original meeting, the applicants asked to have the planning
meeting – on January 18 – delayed as they’d not had time to consider
rejections relating to the effect that infra-red avaiation lighting used on
the turbines had.
Mark Gibson, owner of the Craigengillan Estate, argued the wind farm would
set back the recovery of Dalmellington.
He said: “We have achieved so much as a community and all that progress is
completely dependant on the landscape and a wind farm in completely
incompatible with this future.
“We were delighted and relieved the planning committee came to their
original decision. We hope for a similar result again.”
Simon Hayes, Head of Wind Farm Energy Development at Infinis, admitted that
the wind farm would only be the equivalent to one-and-a-half full-time jobs
over the 25-year planned lifespan.