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Controversial windfarm agreed in shock U-turn  

Credit:  Frank Cassidy, Reporter | Cumnock Chronicle | www.cumnockchronicle.com ~~

Scottish Ministers have approved a development of a 50-turbine windfarm which was originally refused permission by East Ayrshire Council (EAC).

Swedish energy company, Vattenfall, had appealed against the decision to the Scottish Government, who gave their consent last week.

South Kyle Windfarm lies east of Bellsbank, comprises 2402 hectares, is south-east of the B741 Dalmellington-Dalleagles road and east of the A713 towards Carsphairn.

EAC’s planning committee identified several factors which they branded ‘unacceptable’ in reaching their verdict in July 2014.

Adverse visual and landscape impact within the immediate wider landscape and residential amenity; cumulative impacts when considered by itself and in conjunction with the existing, authorised and proposed wind farms within the vicinity; impact on tourism, views from tourist routes and facilities.

Having been successful with their submission to Scottish Ministers, Vattenfall has welcomed the ruling, saying that it can now accelerate discussions with local communities about buying a five per cent share of the windfarm.

Vattenfall will also provide a community benefit fund of £5,000 per MW installed per annum over the operational lifetime of the windfarm.

In addition, the wind energy developer will continue to encourage and promote business opportunities in the scheme – more than 150 local companies have expressed an interest.

Guy Mortimer, Vattenfall’s UK head of development for onshore wind, said: “This decision is good news for Scotland’s climate change targets and for local people and businesses. The benefits of this project can be significant and wide ranging.

“The Scottish Government’s consent decision for this scheme is reassuringly robust.”

Vattenfall must enter into a legal agreement with EAC as well as taking part in negotiations regarding appropriate planning conditions. In addition, work cannot start until a restoration and aftercare guarantee is provided.

Source:  Frank Cassidy, Reporter | Cumnock Chronicle | www.cumnockchronicle.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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