A PROPOSED wind farm near Drongan has finally been given the go-ahead – eight years after it was first mooted.
The original planning application for Polquhairn wind farm was submitted in November 2014.
That proposal would have had nine 100m turbines, which could generate 22.5MW power.
The revised plans, approved by East Ayrshire Council’s planning committee last week, will feature one 145m turbine, with five at 125m and three at less than 120m.
Councillors were shown images showing the visual impact of the increase in size, with planners suggesting the increase would not be considered enough to warrant a refusal.
The report outlined the applicant’s case for the changes, stating: “They consider the ongoing requirements to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change mean that there is increasing importance for sites to maximise their energy yield and efficiency, and given advances in turbine technology nowadays, believe larger turbines would help achieve these goals.”
Councillor Jennifer Hogg (SNP, Doon Valley) asked why the height of the turbines had to increase if the technology had improved, the applicant’s representative, Tom Parkin, indicated that the smaller turbines were not ‘economically viable’ without the governmental subsidy that used to be in place.
A total of five people lodged objections, with two withdrawing them prior to last week’s meeting.
Councillor William Lennox (SNP, Ballochmyle) was the only member of the committee who opposed the plans, stating he believed the increased size of the turbines would have a significant visual impact on the closest communities like Sinclairston and Rankinston, adding he wanted to ‘take cognisance of the views of the people there”.
However, he was unable to find a seconder and simply recorded his dissent. The original application was refused after Prestwick Airport and the National Air Traffic Service objected, though both later withdrew their concerns.  https://www.cumnockchronicle.com/news/20779120.drongan-east-ayrshire-council-approves-wind-farm/

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