A last-minute legal challenge failed to prevent councillors giving the green light to to the planned Overhill Wind Farm.
The 10-turbine development between New Cumnock and Dalmellington had received over 800 objections but East Ayrshire Council’s planning committee was happy to see it go ahead with more than 40 conditions attached.
Local resident Jerry Mulders challenged the competency of the application as a result of “salami slicing” the process with separate applications for the wind turbines and the connections to the grid.
However, following advice from the council’s legal advisor Craig Young, it was decided that there was no legal basis for a decision to be delayed.
Objectors included the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) and New Cumnock Community Council who said the damage caused to the ecologically-diverse Martyrs Moss peat bog would outweigh the pros of the green energy created.
However, Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB were happy for the development to go ahead as a result of the proposed habitat management plan.
Bruce Phillips from SWT said they had “significant concerns” for the “unique” site.
He added: “The blanket bog is of considerable depth and has been identified as the best in East Ayrshire.
“With the resultant release of CO2, any damage to the peat would contribute to global warming.”
Alan McIntyre from developers EnergieKontor said that Martyrs Moss was not nationally designated or recognised but added that the habitat management plan would “enhance the quality of the peat bog over the lifetime of the project.”
New Cumnock residents have previously complained about the HGV traffic caused by other wind farms in the area and Councillor Billy Crawford urged the developers and Ayrshire Roads Alliance to get the traffic management plan right.
Cllr Crawford said residents on Afton Road, New Cumnock had suffered “hell on earth” as a result of the Afton Wind Farm.
New Cumnock Community Council representative Eric Bennet added that “New Cumnock will get all the hassle of the construction” but could receive less of the community benefit fund if it was divided by population.