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Wind turbine plan faces opposition

A local authority is to oppose the creation of a 50-turbine wind farm which it believes will spoil the surrounding landscape and harm tourism.

Officials at East Ayrshire Council have recommended that members of the authority’s planning committee today vote to oppose the South Kyle Wind Farm development, which it is proposed would be built near the town of Dalmellington, in sight of the popular tourist spot Loch Doon.

Plans submitted by energy firm Vattenhall would see 3.5 sq miles of forestry clearance to make way for the 150-metre-high turbines, which would be operational for 25 years and provide a boost to the local economy, according to the company.

While East Ayrshire Council is likely to recommend that the proposals are thrown out, Dumfries and Galloway Council recently voted not to object, instead asking for a series of conditions. Of the 50 turbines, 30 would be built in the East Ayrshire area with the remainder in Dumfries and Galloway Council’s patch. The Scottish Government will decide whether the wind farm will be allowed to go ahead.

Groups which have already objected to the plan include the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the nearby Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, which said the wind farm would cause light pollution. Glasgow Prestwick Airport, the Ministry of Defence and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency have not objected, but asked that conditions are attached if the application is granted.