July 19, 2015

Scottish Government kicks out windfarm plans for site near Kirkcudbright

By Stuart Gillespie | Daily Record and Sunday Mail | 19 July 2015 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk

An appeal over plans for a windfarm near Kirkcudbright has been kicked out.

The Scottish Government rejected RES’ bid to gain approval for five 115m turbines on Barcloy Hill.

The council’s planning applications committee rejected plans for the 12.5MW Barcloy Hill development last year after they drew more than 550 letters of objection and 230 of support.

The council’s landscape architect, as well as three community councils, also opposed the scheme. Air traffic experts NATS were objectors although Scottish Government reporter Karen Heywood noted this issue seemed to have been resolved.

She believed what was being proposed would create a “detrimental impact” on the character of the landscape as well as visual amenity. She also found that the plans conflicted with parts of the local development plan.

And although Ms Heywood acknowledged that the development would contribute to renewable energy targets, she did not feel “this contribution is sufficient to outweigh the detrimental impacts to landscape character and visual amenity”.

RES project manager Fraser Merry said: “We are very disappointed at this decision. We carefully select and develop sites so as to not only effectively generate secure, clean and green energy, but also to have minimal impact on the environment – and we feel that this was absolutely the case for Barcloy Hill.

“We worked hard to engage with the local community throughout this process and we would like to thank the residents and businesses surrounding the site for taking the time to find out more about our proposals and providing feedback.”

Meanwhile, Banks Renewables has altered the layout of its proposals for Knockendurrick after meetings with local people, with the new plans set to be submitted to the council shortly.

The seven turbines originally planned would have been 132m tall. However, Banks is now proposing to make six of them 115m tall and the other 100m tall, meaning the proposals would be capable of generating 14MW rather than just under 24MW. The turbines will also be moved further from the National Scenic Area.

Development director Colin Anderson said: “A windfarm application such as the one at Knockendurrick is very much an ongoing process.

“As always, as part of our development with care approach, we’ve listened to local people and statutory consultees and I believe we have come up with a more balanced proposal that importantly gives the communities the chance to secure an even greater stake in the project.”

Nearby communities are also being offered the chance to buy 10 per cent equity in the project, rather than the five per cent originally proposed.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2015/07/19/scottish-government-kicks-out-windfarm-plans-for-site-near-kirkcudbright/