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Villagers of rural Dumfries and Galloway communities opposed to windfarm mast  

Credit:  Amanda Crawford | Daily Record | 20 Oct 2017 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk ~~

A planning proposal to Dumfries and Galloway Council for a single temporary wind mast at Thornhill has left nearby residents upset.

If granted permission EDF Energy Renewables, the company behind the application, will erect one 90 metre wind monitoring mast on Auchinleck Hill, north east of the village.

The plan is to take it down after 36 months and review the prospect of installing a windfarm at the same site.

But residents of Thornhill and neighbouring Closeburn have voiced concerns and claim it would be devastating to the landscape and are reluctant to support the idea of a new windfarm in the region.

Mike Steele, acting chairman of Closeburn Community Council, said: “It is likely that the community council will oppose the plans for a test mast in our neighbouring community Thornhill.

“The reason for this is because it is in the middle of a scenic area and from a tourist point of view it would be a disaster.

“The economy in this area relies on maintaining the countryside and scenery, therefore we will oppose at this stage.

“And if it goes ahead then we will join together with other communities to fight it.”

A spokesperson for EDF Energy Renewables said: “We have submitted a planning application to the council to install a temporary wind monitoring mast on a site at Auchinleck Hill in Upper Nithsdale, to the north east of Thornhill.

“If approval for the meteorological mast is granted, it will be used as part of early stage investigations to collect wind data to help us determine if the site might be suitable for a windfarm development. The mast is a lightweight structure with a height of 90 metres and incorporates seven anemometers to help measure wind speeds.

“We are still some way from taking any decisions on the development potential of the Auchinleck Hill site, and the information gathered on the local wind resource will help us to determine if other feasibility studies are to be progressed over the coming years.

“If any future decision is taken to seek planning consent for a wind farm, we would engage fully with local communities and stakeholders at that time to seek their views as part of a formal public consultation process prior to any application being made.”

Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell said: “My position on windfarms across my constituency is very clear; enough is enough.

“This area has taken more than it’s fair share of windfarm developments over the years and I wouldn’t want to see any further large scale developments.

“With the community firmly opposed to any plans, I will be happy to stand with community councils in their opposition to any planned developments and I would urge EDF energy to re-think their plans.”

The closing date for objections to the proposal is November 1.

Source:  Amanda Crawford | Daily Record | 20 Oct 2017 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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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