It is very striking that none of the Energy Press has reported the resounding and richly deserved refusal of the very poor quality application for 40 x 200m and 5 x 179.5m high wind turbines at Faw Side, in the Ewes Valley, north of Langholm. Even the site’s own website is silent, still pretending that the application is live. Community Wind Power Ltd, a misnamed wind development company from Cheshire, well known for their approach to consultation and local interests, had put forward an application of breathtaking arrogance, size and dominance, and then tried to defend it using ‘disinterested’ consultants. On every material point they failed.


This application was of overbearing appearance, with no saving graces, for the important Ewes Valley, north of Langholm. It was opposed by nearly every official consultee, two Councils, and a huge body of highly motivated, well organised and impressively knowledgeable local people, every one of whom could speak to predictable undesirable impacts. The application swallowed up the Eskdalemuir budget, sowing confusion and dissent. The MoD was firm in its opposition, expertly led by Senior Counsel.  A firm Public Inquiry conclusion, and later, a clearly  reluctant Ministers’ decision, saw it off.


Scattered communities can find it difficult to consolidate their efforts when distances make it harder to come together, making coordinated communication difficult. So many interests were in play,  from Golden Eagle habitats in the Tarras Valley to the Eskdalemuir Seismic Array, from traffic and transport, visibility, and of impact on homes and settlement, not to mention need and necessity for development on this scale. In a gargantuan and committed display of dedicated efficiency, many of the local population put aside any differences or hesitation they may have had, and worked tirelessly to support their professional team with information gathering, funding, supplies and every kind of support. A text book example of how it should be done.


The evidence in the case raised a couple of big questions; the carbon saving calculation put forward by the applicant and “supported” by the Scottish Government’s “Carbon Calculator:” was shown to be deeply flawed. Yet the conclusions about it are not rigorous and the applicant insisted upon it.  


The second question is why, with more than 9GW installed and working and 11.5 GW pending ONshore, and nearly 2GW working and 36GW pending OFFshore, and with a declared Policy ambition of just 20GW overall, these huge onshore applications are needed at all. As they say in Planning School –  ‘Do the Math’.


Episode 2 of this happy, but not always logical, outcome will look at Ministers’ language in refusing the Faw Side application. Meanwile Community Wind Power might want to think about their name.

Scotland Against Spin

SAS Volunteer

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John Tulloch · January 3, 2024 at 5:53 pm

Well said. I can’t imagine how the proposers of such monstrosities and the Scottish government think this type of development and the resulting environmental damage it entails equate to “saving the planet” or, even how they think such developments are in any way appropriate. They do not even produce the claimed “cheap energy”.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that business/political proponents of such schemes are a band of charlatans, motivated simply by money and/or crude political ambition.

Where, oh, where, is the parliamentary opposition to this madness?

    SAS Volunteer · January 3, 2024 at 9:25 pm

    There is no nopposition except from Scottish Tories. The Labour party are worse than the SNP/Greens.

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