by Stuart Gillespie
Plans for a £38 million windfarm in the Glenkens have been blown away.
Campaigners against the proposed Loch Hill development near Dalry protested
outside a meeting of the council in Dumfries yesterday.
And councillors agreed with their concerns, voting against 2020 Renewables’
application for 11 turbines.
Alison Chapman, co-ordinator of Galloway Landscape And Renewable Energy
(GLARE), said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the councillors examined
the issues and felt the application was not appropriate in the area.
“Lochinvar is not just a beautiful place, it has a special spot in Scottish
culture and history.”
GLARE was joined by members of Save Loch Urr, Turbine Watch 312 and other
individuals at the protest ahead of the meeting.
Keith Mycock of TW 312 added: “The Scottish energy policy wants 82 per cent
of renewable energy to come from wind. It just doesn’t work.”
The council’s own landscape architect had objected to the plans ahead of
the planning applications committee, while there were also 53 letters
opposing the development of the 100m tall turbines.
However planners recommended councillors should approve the plans as they
felt there would be no significant environmental impact and the landscape
could cope with the windfarm.
The meeting heard concerns from objectors about the cumulative impact
another windfarm would have.
Local resident Anna Blyth said: “We will be trapped in a giant industrial
It was also pointed out the planners’ report said that an estimated eight
red kites, a protected species, would be killed during the 25-year lifespan
of the windfarm.
But 2020 Renewables’ managing director Alan Baker said it was “a good
windfarm site” as it was so remote the turbines would “only be visible from
two properties within two kilometres of the site”.
He believed Loch Hill and a five-turbine development at Knockman Hill,
proposed last month, “can co-exist and look like one windfarm on the
He also felt there was little local objection, with no community councils
objecting and most of the 53 letters against the plans being from people
who lived some distance away. He accepted there would be an impact on the
landscape but described it as an “acceptable impact”.
However, after a motion for a site visit was approved councillors voted 8-6
against the plans.
Afterwards Mr Baker said: “We worked very hard to ensure our application
met with the approval of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning officers
and we are disappointed the planning applications committee has gone
against the advice of their own officials. It is a real shame the
application has been refused as it would have generated substantial
economic benefits to the region.”