Stewartry Area Committee will reach a decision today on a Glenkens windfarm proposal – at the second time of asking.
A previous planning meeting broke up in acrimony in September after officials ruled Scottish and Southern Energy’s scheme for Blackcraig had to wait because a late bid on the neighbouring Magree had been lodged at the eleventh hour.
Members of the public – and SSE- were left fuming at the delay – but now the Blackcraig bid is finally to be heard at the committee’s meeting in Kirkcudbright Town Hall.
The Glenkens community is divided on the issue, with arch opponents GLARE and their backers lining up against those keen to lever in windfall cash.
SSE’s 23-turbine wind farm for Blackcraig Hill will be recommended for tacit approval in that the Council make no objections to Scottish ministers, who will decide the issue.
Key to this recommendation is the report by the Council’s landscape architect into the cumulative impact of windfarms at both Blackcraig and Margree.
He advises the Council not to lodge an objection on “landscape, visual or cumulative impact grounds, owing to the scale and layout of the development and the distance separating it from other windfarm developments.”
The report continues “In relation to the proposed windfarm at Margree, the Landscape Architect has concluded that whilst the proposal does raise significant concerns regarding cumulative impact, these arise partially from the design of Margree.
“As the proposal at Blackcraig adopts the same design approach as that at Wether Hill (compromising irregular groupings of well-spaced turbines clustered on hilltops) it would be the Margree proposal that would contrast and create a confusing image (a regular, dense grid of turbines giving a rational design appearance that would often be seen as ‘peeping’ over the horizon due to the location within a ‘bowl’ shaped landform).
“There are not therefore any justifiable reasons for objecting to Blackcraig in order to ‘make way’ for Margree.”
As the Blackcraig windfarm’s proposed output would be in excess of 50 megawatts of electricity any final decision will rest with the Scottish Executive.
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