A bid to put up six of what would be the tallest turbines in the region so far has ignited a massive outcry.
More than 500 people have objected to the Community Windpower move at Mayfield, some six kilometres north east of Kirkcudbright.
At the same time more than 280 have voiced support for the proposal which would see turbines more than twice the height of Edinburgh’s Scott Monument dominate a ridge on the opposite side of the River Dee from the A711 road.
Planners, however, have come down firmly against the move which they believe would create a small windfarm far too domineering for a coastal scenic area and goes against several points in the local plan.
Community Windpower Ltd want to build the six, 130-metre turbines more than 300 feet up the hillside which is just south of the A75 trunk road.
The site would also house access tracks, hard-standing areas, control and substation buildings, borrow pits and a meteorological mast. They plan to operate the site for 25 years.
Officials will tell the planning applications committee that there have been eleven other windfarm proposals within a 30 kilometre radius of the site and six – at Doon Hill, Barnbackle, Galtway Hill, Plascow, Culaightrie and West Kirkcarswell – have all been turned down.
Last year a seven turbine planning application for Mayfield was withdrawn.
The current one is essentially the same but with a route change and without turbine number seven.
Objecting on a number of grounds, the council’s landscape architect says in a report: “The proposal…is in an area where the potential for wind energy development is limited by landscape sensitivity.
“At 130 metres to blade tip, the proposed turbines would be taller than any existing or consented turbines in Dumfries and Galloway.
“The proposed site … is in a settled, lowland landscape which has been assessed to be of high landscape and visual sensitivity.”
There are 29 homes within a two kilometre radius of the site.
The council archaeologist has also objected claiming, amongst other things, the development would have an impact on a string of views around the area.
Kelton and Kirkcudbright community councils claim the development is “completely out of character” and “totally incompatible” with the area.
And planners point out the turbines would be highly visible from Kirkcudbright.
“There would generally be clear, unrestricted views toward the turbines from the full length of the harbour, car park and parts of Mote Brae,” their report states.
“Turbines would be prominent in views north along a section of St Mary’s Street and would occupy a central place in the focus of attention for people travelling along this section and this would disrupt the rural backdrop to this key view.”
And they conclude: “The proposal would have unacceptable landscape, visual and cumulative impacts.”
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