A council in Scotland has refused planning permission for a nine-turbine wind farm after planners warned that the scheme could pose a risk to aviation.
Developer Brookfield Renewable UK Limited had applied to East Ayrshire Council for permission to build nine 100-metre high wind turbines on a 468-hectare site at Drogan, south of Sinclairston and east of Rankinston.
National Air Traffic Services (NATS) lodged an objection to the scheme over concerns that the turbines could interfere with local air traffic control radars, which, planning officers said in their report, Brookfield had not addressed sufficiently.
According to the report, Brookfield argued that the council should approve the wind farm with a planning condition to ensure that no development would take place until an appropriate aviation mitigation solution had been implemented.
However, planners argued that it seemed unlikely such a solution would be found given the applicant has had more than two years to work on mitigation measures.
“The council has been reasonable to the applicant and has, twice now, delayed taking the application to planning committee for determination,” the report said.
An update with mitigation proposals provided by Brookfield on 26 July, the report added, were “not sufficiently mature to provide NATS with any confidence of their suitability and potential for eventual implementation.”
Planners acknowledged that the majority of material considerations are “supportive of the development,” which would would bring economic benefits and “directly help tackle climate change”.
But officers concluded that the scheme would be contrary to government policy and the area’s development plan “given the outstanding aviation objection from NATS due to the lack of mitigation solutions to address the aviation impacts of the proposed development”.
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