Plans for a £38 million windfarm in the Glenkens have been blown away.
Campaigners against the proposed Loch Hill development near Dalry protested outside a meeting of the council in Dumfries yesterday.
And councillors agreed with their concerns, voting against 2020 Renewables’ application for 11 turbines.
Alison Chapman, co-ordinator of Galloway Landscape And Renewable Energy (GLARE), said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the councillors examined the issues and felt the application was not appropriate in the area.
“Lochinvar is not just a beautiful place, it has a special spot in Scottish culture and history.”
GLARE was joined by members of Save Loch Urr, Turbine Watch 312 and other individuals at the protest ahead of the meeting.
Keith Mycock of TW 312 added: “The Scottish energy policy wants 82 per cent of renewable energy to come from wind. It just doesn’t work.”
The council’s own landscape architect had objected to the plans ahead of the planning applications committee, while there were also 53 letters opposing the development of the 100m tall turbines.
However planners recommended councillors should approve the plans as they felt there would be no significant environmental impact and the landscape could cope with the windfarm.
The meeting heard concerns from objectors about the cumulative impact another windfarm would have.
Local resident Anna Blyth said: “We will be trapped in a giant industrial wasteland.”
It was also pointed out the planners’ report said that an estimated eight red kites, a protected species, would be killed during the 25-year lifespan of the windfarm.
But 2020 Renewables’ managing director Alan Baker said it was “a good windfarm site” as it was so remote the turbines would “only be visible from two properties within two kilometres of the site”.
He believed Loch Hill and a five-turbine development at Knockman Hill, proposed last month, “can co-exist and look like one windfarm on the landscape”.
He also felt there was little local objection, with no community councils objecting and most of the 53 letters against the plans being from people who lived some distance away. He accepted there would be an impact on the landscape but described it as an “acceptable impact”.
However, after a motion for a site visit was approved councillors voted 8-6 against the plans.
Afterwards Mr Baker said: “We worked very hard to ensure our application met with the approval of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning officers and we are disappointed the planning applications committee has gone against the advice of their own officials. It is a real shame the application has been refused as it would have generated substantial economic benefits to the region.”
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