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Appeal against Newton Mearns windfarm rejection fails

An appeal against a decision to reject plans for a new windfarm in East Renfrewshire has been kicked out.

Moorhouse Windfarm Ltd had tried three times to get the green light for six turbines in Newton Mearns, between Shieldhill Farm and Moor Road.

However, the proposals were snubbed after aviation chiefs claimed they could lose track of planes over the site.

East Renfrewshire Council knocked back the plans in March this year, when the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) claimed a windfarm could interfere with radar in Glasgow and Cumbernauld.

And the local authority’s planning appeals committee then rejected an appeal in August after Provost Jim Fletcher described the potential impact on NATS’ systems as ‘worrying’.

The owners of Moorhouse Windfarm Ltd hoped to persuade a Scottish Government-appointed reporter to overturn the decision by offering to install a radar mitigation scheme to avoid planes getting lost.

However, in his findings, reporter Robert Maslin has stated the proposed development would ‘have adverse effects on aviation safety’.

He said: “There is no material consideration which would justify granting planning permission.”

Mr Maslin admitted that implementing a radar mitigation scheme could overcome the adverse effects on aviation safety.

He also said that, if the turbines were installed, they would adversely affect the view of the landscape.

Provost Fletcher described the decision as “refreshing.”

He said: “We get so angry at times when reporters overturn the decisions of elected members, so this is very welcome.”

The application for the windfarm has been in the pipeline for more than three years, with a series of delays preventing the planning committee from making a decision until March.

Before that decision was made, Coriolos Energy, acting on behalf of Moorhouse Windfarm, asked for a delay until an aviation impact report was completed.

A total of 14 consultation responses were received, asking councillors to reject the plans, with East Ayrshire Council saying residents living near the existing Whitelee Windfarm and proposed sites at Glenouther and Blair would become ‘encircled’ by turbines.