Ministers have refused planning consent for a wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway that would have an “unacceptable” impact on the landscape.
Sandy Knowe Wind Farm limited had applied for permission to build 30 turbines with a capacity of up to 90mw to the south-west of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm.
Scottish Natural Heritage had raised serious concerns about the cumulative impact the development would have on the landscape and views in the Upper Nithsdale area.
A letter setting out the decision said: “This effect would mean the development would represent a tipping point with respect to landscape character, leading to the area becoming a wind farm landscape.
“Ministers have considered the economic and renewable energy benefits of the development and, although they consider these to be significant, they have concluded that they are not of a scale that outweighs the substantive environmental impacts.”
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefits from renewable energy.
“We need a balanced approach in taking forward this policy and have to consider what impact any development would have on the local area.
“That is why I have refused permission for the proposed Sandy Knowe Wind Farm, which would have had an unacceptable landscape and visual impact, in the Dumfries and Galloway area.
“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places, and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable.”
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