Councillors have blocked a 10-turbine windfarm in the Glenkens.
Burcote Wind’s hopes for planning permission for the site near Carsphairn were dashed when members voted 7-5 against the project last Thursday.
They’d been to see the site just two days earlier after a previous decision on the windfarm had been delayed.
Their decision comes just a month after Burcote Wind bosses had criticised council planners.
Operations director Fraser Campbell said he had a “number of concerns” about a report that went before councillors that recommended refusal. They felt it “gave an inaccurate representation of the application”.
Case officer Chris McTeir recommended refusal on the grounds the windfarm would have an adverse effect on the landscape and views around the area with only the council’s landscape architect and archaeologist objecting to the plan.
Some councillors sided with the wind company saying they struggled to see a “cumulative effect” mentioned in the report when on their site visit.
But council officials insisted a “tipping point” has been reached around the site which is between two scenic areas.
The site was also described as an “archeological sensitive area”.
Councillor Jane Maitland hit back at councillors taking issue with the planners recommendation to refuse the proposal saying going against it would be “quite dangerous”.
When councillors did eventually vote, seven came out against Burcote Wind’s plan with five in support.
Council leader Elaine Murray abstained due to her missing the site visit.
It’s around five years since Fife-based Burcote announced plans for a £130 million development on the site featuring 36 turbines up to 134 metres high.
The numbers were later reduced to 23 and again to 10.
Burcote claim the windfarm would have benefited the local community to the tune of £115,000 per year.
Burcote’s Mr Campbell said after the vote: “We are disappointed by this decision, in particular having received no objections from statutory consultees outwith the council’s internal landscape architect and archeologist.
“We have worked closely with the council and consultees for the last five years to ensure that we brought forward an application that was both sensitively designed and located and one which addressed previous issues on the site.
“We believe that this is a genuine missed opportunity for not only the local communities around the development who would have benefited from both our community benefit and community ownership models but also for the wider region, in particular local companies who could have benefited from our unique local procurement policy.
“We will now hold an internal review of the decision and consider our next steps.”
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