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‘Disappointed’ Renewable Energy Systems ponder appeal over rejected Dumfries-shire wind farm plan

Councillors in Dumfries and Galloway have rejected plans for a wind farm by RES after more than 500 letters of objection were submitted to the planning committee.

Despite the wind farm proposal receiving only one statutory objection, relating to an aviation issue that Renewable Energy Systems (RES) believes could be resolved, the planning committee voted to refuse consent for the 12.5 megawatt wind farm

The five turbine project, located between Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright, would have been capable of generating electricity equivalent to the average annual demand of more than 7,500 households – approximately 10% of the households in Dumfries and Galloway.

John Appleton, RES Development Project Manager, commented: “Whilst Dumfries and Galloway Council raised objections on the grounds of effects on landscape character and visual amenity, this position was not supported by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

“RES is in ongoing discussions with the National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) and we are confident that a resolution to the NATS objection can be reached.

“We are disappointed that Dumfries and Galloway Council did not defer the committee decision to allow these aviation discussions to conclude.”

RES had committed to providing communities who host its wind farm projects a community benefit package of £5,000 per installed megawatt, split between a community benefit fund and RES’ new Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS). The LEDS initiative at Barcloy Hill would have seen properties within 4.25 kilometres of the wind farm receiving an annual discount of £114 (index linked) off electricity bill, equating to an overall saving of £2,850 (index linked) to each recipient over the life time of the wind farm.

In addition, Barcloy Hill Wind Farm could have put more than £1.3 million directly into the local economy during construction and the first year of operation. The region would have benefited further through more than £54,000 annually in business rates.

RES said it will be reviewing the council’s decision in more detail before considering the next step.

Across Scotland, RES has developed and/or built 11 wind farms with a total generation capacity of nearly 215 MW – with turbines made by a variety of manufacturers, including Vestas, Siemens, Enercon and Gamesa.