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Plans for turbines at wildlife site dropped

Developers have withdrawn plans for a 14-turbine wind farm in a Dumfries and Galloway beauty spot following concerns it could damage an internationally-important wildlife site.

Community Wind Power Ltd, which had planned the wind farm for an area of moorland two-and-a-half miles north of Sanquhar now plans to amend their proposals to try and overcome the objections.

Concerns were raised about the impact the proposals would have on wildlife and objections were lodged by RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and many concerned individuals.

The site is part of the Muirkirk and north Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area (SPA) and is important for threatened wildlife, such as hen harriers, peregrines and short-eared owls, say conservationists.

Scottish Natural Heritage also raised concerns that the scheme will create a “corridor effect” where turbines would be visible on either side of Nithsdale.

Kate Bellew, conservation planner for RSPB Scotland, said: “This is very welcome news and absolutely the right decision.

“We have always maintained that this is a completely unsuitable place for a wind farm due to its importance for rare species.

“The developers, Community Wind Power Ltd, deserve credit for recognising how harmful this development would have been for wildlife and for abandoning their plans.”

Ron Wood, managing director of Community Wind Power, said plans were withdrawn “in order for us to undertake and complete the necessary work and consultation to overturn and remove these consultee objections”.

The company aims to resubmit the plans.