March 12, 2020

Controversial plans for giant wind farm in the Rhinns of Kells in New Galloway scrapped

Fred Olsen Ltd has pulled the plug on the project for 12 turbines below the scenic mountain range | By Stephen Norris | Daily Record | 12 Mar 2020 |

Controversial plans to build a giant wind farm in the Rhinns of Kells have been scrapped.

Torrs Hill Wind Farm Ltd had lodged an outline bid for 12 turbines below the scenic mountain range.

But this week parent company Fred Olsen Ltd opted to pull the plug on the project.

The company said a “complex” wind resource meant the project was not feasible.

Thomas Jebsen, FOL lead for the development, said: “Local opinion was taken into account in the latest revised layout for the site.

“But ultimately the complex wind resource on site was the reason Fred Olsen Ltd made the decision not to proceed with the development.”

FOL owns the Forrest Estate near Dalry where the wind farm was planned,

Renewables company Natural Power are also headquartered on the estate.

Mr Jebsen added: “Both Fred Olsen Ltd and Natural Power are disappointed that the environmental, economic and community benefits associated with the project will not now be realised.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the local communities and residents for their engagement and feedback on the Torrs Hill Wind Farm B proposal.”

Local interests were quick to welcome the decision.

New Galloway campaigner Michael Ansell said: “The company has come to the only conclusion any sensible organisation could reach.

“Any wind farm development needs to be in the right place and on the shoulder of the Rhinns of Kells is certainly not it.

“Local feeling was very clear about that.

“It’s good that the sentiments of the community seem to have been taken into consideration by Fred Olsen Ltd.”

Royal Burgh of New Galloway and Kells Parish Community Council had opposed the wind farm.

Secretary Sharon Fishwick said: “The community council is happy we have a positive outcome.

“We thought we were going to have a battle but that’s all gone now.”

Dalry Community Council chairperson Nicolette Wise added: “A lot of keen walkers from Dalry will be pleased with this decision.”

David McNicol of Gatehouse and District Walking Group was also among the project’s critics.

He said: “This decision has got to be good for the area.

“It seemed crazy to want to build it in such a beautiful location.

“It is one of the most popular walking areas in Galloway.

“It did seem a little bit insensitive that they were going to put it there.”

Mountaineering Scotland expressed relief at the news.

Access and conservation officer Davie Black said: “We are pleased that the developer has decided to withdraw the windfarm proposal here which is in an area of great scenic importance for the region.

“This will help ensure future generations of walkers can enjoy the wild qualities of the landscape of the Galloway Hills.”

Had they been built the Torrs Hill turbines would have reached up to 250 metres high – almost 100 metres taller than Blackpool Tower.

They would have stood only a mile from Corserine – the Rhinns of Kells’ highest peak.

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