Campaigners against a community wind farm are said to be “relieved” after the controversial plans were dramatically abandoned last week.
Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust announced its proposals, due to go before a planning meeting next month, were to be shelved due to legal issues.
The trust said that landowners had failed to sign lease agreements, with convener Murdo MacDonald saying the move was a “tragic” loss to the community.
More than 2,500 people made comments for or against the contentious proposals with supporters saying they would plug millions into the surrounding villages and opposers claiming the turbines, which would have been seen from Helensburgh, would be an eyesore.
Authorities, including Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, opposed the plans, with council officers recommending refusal.
The trust stated that, without the agreement, there was nothing to prevent landowners from selling planning permission to another developer.
In a statement they said: “Unfortunately, although the terms of the Option and Lease Agreement were agreed in November 2012, we have been unable to get these documents signed. This is despite repeated assurances that the landowners were content with the agreement and that matters would be brought to a swift conclusion.”
However, former councillor Danny Kelly, who previously sat on Argyll and Bute Council’s planning committee, said much of the community had breathed a sigh of relief at the news.
He said: “We never thought the application should have got as far. It went against so many council regulations and policies.
“There was a lot of people against it and many are relieved now. It was far too big and would have been a complete eyesore.”
Two landowners and farmers, Abe Hamilton and John Auld, said they were “greatly disappointed” by the withdrawal and in a statement, said: “It was a condition of signature of Abe and John’s that they would sign option and lease agreements simultaneously with one of the other landowners.
“No indication was passed to Abe and John’s representation that a third landowner was in a position to do this and as deadlines approached no formal reassurance was given that this had been achieved.”
They also said required wind data, which arrived nearly a year late, allegedly revealed that the trust’s figures for projected wind energy generated by the turbines was “unachievable”.
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