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Windfarm plan rejected at scenic site

A windfarm plan for one of the “most scenic” landscapes in East Ayrshire has been turned down.

Developers wanted to erect seven turbines only 1.3km from New Cumnock on a sheep farm.

Innogy Renewables offered the New Cumnock community the chance to invest 15 per cent in the venture at a cost of £3.8 million.

Councillors rejected the 135m tall turbine bid at the East Ayrshire planning committee Friday (September 28) after officers recommended its refusal.

A council report said the plan would bring wind farm development closer to “more settled, sensitive landscapes.”

It described Glen Afton as one of the most “scenic and sensitive in East Ayrshire.”

It stated the Ashmark Hill proposal would cause “significant adverse landscape and visual impacts.”

Innogy offered the New Cumnock Development Trust shared ownership of the wind farm at 15 per cent. The community company had not accepted so far but had vouched support for the renewable proposal.

Councillor John McFadzean questioned whether the trust would be able to raise £3.8 million.

The Conservative councillor said: “We don’t want to stand in the way of progress.”

New Cumnock Community Council also supported the development stating the “scale of the proposal is appropriate in the context of the surrounding area.”

It is the second attempt to build a wind farm on the site by the same developer, which was previously called RWE Innogy UK. The earlier bid, also thrown out, was similar with seven turbines but they only reached 116m high.

Councillors undertook a site visit to consider the matter on Tuesday.

Karen Fox, Innogy head of development strategy, said: “We are very surprised and disappointed with today’s decision. It does not reflect the support for the project. No objections were raised by any statutory consultees and only two by members of the public.”

The company is considering whether to appeal.