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Villages in Dumfries and Galloway join forces to oppose windfarm plans

Two villages have joined forces in a bid to derail plans for a 35-turbine windfarm near Sanquhar .

The North Lowther Energy Initiative submitted a formal application to the Scottish Government last week for the development in the North Lowther hills to the east of Sanquhar and north-west of Wanlockhead.

But residents in Leadhills and Wanlockhead are urging Scottish ministers not to give it the green light.

Leadhills Community Council chairman Gerard Godfrey said the windfarm would have a “significant impact on both villages and it’s the wrong scheme in the wrong place”.

He added: “We made it quite clear during the community consultation that we are vehemently opposed to it.

“We carried out household surveys and 90 per cent of residents object.

“The proposed development, by virtue of its location, its extensive geographical coverage and the scale and height of the structures, together with associated infrastructure, will adversely impact on the landscape of the North Lowther Hills.

“The proposal, by locating turbines on the adjacent ridge to the north of the Mennock Pass, will destroy the intimate character of the pass, which is one of the most attractive and accessible passes in South West Scotland.”

The North Lowther Energy Initiative, a partnership between Buccleuch Estate and 2020 Renewables, say more than £200 million would be invested in the initiative and the windfarm could create a total of 40 jobs.

Depending on the final capacity of the site, it is estimated it will generate up to £735,000 a year for communities – more than £18 million over its lifetime.

However Mr Godfrey claims the windfarm would “adversely impact tourism and existing tourism related jobs”.