By Stuart Gillespie
An appeal over plans for a new windfarm in the Glenkens has been kicked out.
ERG and Burcote Wind had asked the Scottish Government to overturn a
decision by the council to deny planning permission for 10 turbines at
Longburn near Carsphairn.
But ministers have upheld the original decision, saying the proposal would
have “adverse environmental effects” on the landscape as well as the
Italian firm ERG and Burcote Wind, which is based in Fife, saw their plans
turned down by the council’s planning applications committee in August, 2017.
That led to them appealing to Holyrood, with the developers claiming their
proposal would see surrounding communities benefit by as much as £115,000 a
year once the scheme was fully up and running.
But Scottish Government reporter Eslpeth Cook said the proposal – for 10,
134m tall turbines – would “dominate the landscape of this area where the
subtle features of the visible archaeology would be overwhelmed by the
scale of the turbines”.
She added that the windfarm would have a “significant adverse effect on the
immediate landscape of the site”.
The proposed site would be close to the Southern Upland Way and the
reporter felt the development would be detrimental to “the distinctive
skyline of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and the adjacent hills which are a key
feature of the Galloway Hills regional scenic area”.
Although she acknowledged that the 23MW proposal would contribute to the
Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, she did not feel that “the
positive outcomes and the potential economic benefits arising from this
development are sufficient to set aside the adverse environmental effects
on the landscape and historic environment at this location”.
As a result, she felt the development would be contrary to the local
development plan and turned down planning permission.
A spokeswoman for ERG said: “We are naturally disappointed at the decision,
which noted the potential economic benefits of the project to the local
“ERG continues to have strong ambitions to play a key role in Scotland’s
renewable energy future.”