Plans to build a windfarm beside the scenic Rhinns of Kells have provoked a storm of protest.
Torrs Hill Wind Farm is proposing to install up to 12 turbines two kilometres east of Corserine – the highest summit of the range.
A scoping report to the council states that some turbines would be 250 metres tall.
If built, they would be among the highest ever erected in Scotland.
Agents for the company insist the Forrest Estate development would be carefully planned.
But David McNicol of Gatehouse and District Walking Group said: “It will have a negative impact. It seems horrendous.
“There have got to be much more suitable places for a windfarm than the Rhinns of Kells.
“A lot of people are saying Galloway should become a national park.
“Yet anywhere in the Lake District National Park they stop them from building windfarms.”
Carsphairn Community Council chairperson Liz Holmes condemned the move. She said: “People talk about the Highlands but the Rhinns of Kells is a wonderful range.
“The cumulative effect would be unacceptable and would add to our already existing ring of steel.”
Keen New Galloway hill walker Michael Ansell told the News that people on the range would be nearly level with the turbine blades.
He said: “If the report is accurate and the tip heights of 250m are correct that means they will be almost as high as the summits of Meall Fuar (Millfire) and Meall Donn (Milldown).
“They would be about double the heights onshore wind turbines have been up to now.
“One has to question whether such a development on what is essentially the Craignelder spur of the long Rhinns of Kells mountain walk is appropriate. And I say this as a supporter of onshore wind development generally.”
Torrs Hill Wind Farm is a spin-off from Fred Olsen Ltd which pioneered the Galloway Hydro-electric Scheme.
Renewable energy experts Natural Power, based near Dalry, are acting as agents.
Project manager Gavin Shirley said the turbines were so high because “offshore technology is coming onshore.”
He said: “It’s just the height that they are going to. Not all the turbines would be 250 metres. The scoping report is presenting the biggest proposal for the site.
“As the environmental impact assessment is progressed it is likely the layout will change and there will be fewer turbines.
“The more the blades can clear the messy wind at the bottom will help with optimising the wind resource. The project is within the commercial forestry on Forrest Estate and in area that has already been consented for two turbines.
“The applicant has an agreed grid connection offer and the capacity is there. It’s very much a well-designed project.”
Mr Shirley said anyone with concerns can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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