Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has blown away plans for a new wind farm near Oxton.
Residents’ concern about noise and visual impact at the Rowantree site, just off the A7, led to planning refusal.
Commenting on the decision to refuse RWE Innogy’s application to build 21 turbines at Rowantree, Mr Ewing said: “The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places.
“Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of renewables projects should reflect the scale and character of the landscape. As well as being considered environmentally acceptable. That is why I have refused permission for the proposed wind farm at Rowantree, which would have brought unacceptable environmental impacts to people living in the area.”
Last October Scottish Borders Council claimed the Rowantree wind farm was “incompetent” because the developer did not have an Ofgem licence to distribute energy from the project.
A majority objection to the scheme by Scottish Borders Council on grounds of visual impact, noise and cumulative impact, against officer recommendation, had triggered a public inquiry which was held in 2012.
A decision on the proposal had since been repeatedly adjourned. There was a popular expectation that the Scottish Government was only waiting on an announcement of a deal on increased seismic headroom at the Eskdalemuir Seismic Array before rubber-stamping an approval. It is estimated that the Rowantree Wind Farm would have generated 69 mega watts of electricity – enough electricity to supply about 38,500 average homes.
Since 2007 the Scottish Government has turned down 11 applications for onshore wind farms this is the 12th. It has determined 93 planned developments in total and granted planning for 36.
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