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‘Disgust’ over windfarm decision

A proposed wind farm that received nearly 5000 objections and was opposed by two Ayrshire councils has been approved in a shock decision by the Scottish Government.

This week anti wind-farm campaigners were calling it a betrayal and say they are disgusted by the decision.

Last week it was revealed Scottish Ministers consented to Scottish Power’s 23-turbine plans just west of Dalmellington at Dersalloch Hill.

They had made the final decision despite objections by planners and councillors from East and South Ayrshire.

It is the second time in a number of months that ministers have ignored EAC after making a similar call about Hillhouse’s plans for a quarry in Muirkirk.

Objectors had cited the effect on the Dark Skies Park around Loch Doon as one viable reason for refusal.

And Mark Gibson, the chairman of its board of Trustees and owner of Craigengillan Estate, said: “I think everybody is disgusted with this decision. The Scottish Government have refused to listen to the public.

“This is a complete betrayal of our area. There were 4800 objections to this and 23 letters of support. But they have disregarded this.”

The fear now for the campaigners is that the proposed 50-turbine South Kyle site will also be approved by Scottish Ministers.

East Ayrshire Council’s Chris McAleavey, Acting Executive Director of Neighbourhood Services said:“As the neighbouring planning authority, East Ayrshire Council objected to this application, but we note the Scottish Ministers’ decision to grant permission.”

Lesley Bloomer, South Ayrshire Council’s Executive Director – Economy, Neighbourhood and Environment, added: “We are aware the Scottish Government has granted consent for the Dersalloch windfarm and are actively considering any implications for the Council.”

An extension to the existing Clyde wind farm, located to the east of Abington, was also granted.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “These two wind farms will create jobs both in their construction, and during their lifetime. Once they are up and running, the wind farms will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will be able to produce enough electricity to power thousands of homes.

“The Dersalloch wind farm and the Clyde Extension will create around £28.8 million during its lifetime – a remarkable amount for the local communities.

“As well as bringing benefits to the local community, the Clyde Extension will also benefit the wider region through the provision of a Local Community Fund.

“The community packages that have been offered by both these developers will bring considerable benefits to the local communities.

“Scotland is already providing over a third of the UK’s renewable electricity generation and helping to keep the lights on across our islands at a time where there is an increasingly tight gap between electricity supply and demand.”