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Mayfield windfarm plan rejected

Controversial plans for the tallest wind turbines in the region have been blown away.

Councillors yesterday agreed with planning officials that the six, 130-metre turbines destined for a ridge overlooking the A75 and the A711 north of Tongland, would be a blot on the landscape.

Community Windpower’s proposed Mayfield development had attracted more than 500 objections with support from just over 280.

The planning applications committee was told by developers that the £22 million scheme would also lead to £1 million of local benefits.

But planning officer Dean Clapworthy insisted the proposal represented “unacceptable development”.

Mr Clapworthy said in a report the development would be clearly seen from several parts of Kirkcudbright.

Twelve people spoke against the proposals, raising issues concerning the potential impacts on health, the environment, tourism and the landscape, as well as noise.

One objector, Mr Hawker from Gatehouse of Fleet, said: “It will dominate the landscape and be clearly visible over a large area of the Stewartry.”

Penelope Coles added: “The scheme will not bring about any long-term benefit to the local community. It will destroy more economic opportunities than it creates.”

Two people spoke in favour of the development, one of whom was one of the landowners, Mr Wilson. He said: “In my opinion the economic benefits far outweigh the negative impact.”

He highlighted the community benefit fund worth more than £100,00 a year and the fact the turbines would produce more than £300,000 in business rates for the council.

He added: “The rent we receive from this would be re-invested in our business and therefore re-invested in the local area.”

Community Windpower’s Gillian Cropper said that in addition to the initial £22 million investment there would be £1 million each year thanks to the community benefit, rent, business rates and managing the windfarm, with two permanent jobs created.The development would also support 100 jobs during construction.

Members unanimously agreed to reject the proposal, councillor Jim McColm saying: “It is totally out of scale with the landscape.”