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Villagers’ windfarm hell as 230 foot mast springs up in their back yard  

Credit:  Daily Record and Sunday Mail | www.dailyrecord.co.uk 19 August 2012 ~~

A loophole in Scottish planning law means people living near a proposed development do not have to be notified directly – unless their properties are within 65 feet.

Villagers had no idea a windfarm was planned in their back yard until a 230-foot monitoring mast appeared.

A loophole in Scottish planning law means people living near a proposed development do not have to be notified directly – unless their properties are within 65 feet.

Shocked farm owner Andy Shiells, who is leading a protest against the proposed windfarm in Dumfries, is calling for the law to be changed.

He said: “We’re not talking about a garden shed or a rear extension here, this is a blight on the landscape.”

The meteorological mast was put up by EDF Energy Renewables last month to assess wind speeds for up to three years. A scoping exercise will then begin to gauge public opinion.

Andy and wife Angela’s property, Barrachan Home Farm, near Whauphill, Newton Stewart, is the closest to the mast.

Retired journalist, Andy, 66, said: “It’s about 500 yards from our boundary and about 700 yards from our back door.

“There was apparently a notice in the local paper in March but no statutory planning notice, which is required by law, at the entrance to the site.

“I’m angry about the destruction of our views, the potential noise and fall in our property values. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

“The planning permission should be rescinded and the mast removed.”

But Dumfries and Galloway Council insisted they followed the correct planning procedures.

A spokesman said: “Neighbour notification is now a statutory duty for planning authorities.

“No objections were received from members of the public regarding this application.”

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is backing the campaigners.

He said “The planning guidance must be changed with regard to notifying neighbours.

“A mast like this should not fall into the same category as an extension to a property. The Government has to look at the environmental impact, the impact on tourism and on local people.”

The Scottish Government insisted the 20-metre rule is adequate in relation to the mast – and said a further planning application would have to be made before a windfarm could go ahead.

Source:  Daily Record and Sunday Mail | www.dailyrecord.co.uk 19 August 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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