“I’m red hot, I’m boiling” said David Paton after hearing that the council ignored their own advice to object to the proposed 16-turbine Greenburn wind farm.
Mr Paton lives less than 2000m from the site just west of New Cumnock and is furious at the council for letting this development through.
Scottish Ministers, not the council, decide the outcome of wind farm applications, but the council is required to give a view of the proposals to Ministers, who will then consider that opinion when coming to a conclusion.
Mr Paton says he recognises the need for renewable energy sources, but is losing patience with East Ayrshire Council’s approach to the climate emergency, saying that the burden needs to be shared nationally and that there are too many wind farms going up in the area.
Indeed, this week we have news of another development just 10 miles up the road in Sorn. There is also the planned Sanquhar II development about eight miles south east of New Cumnock.
The 58-year-old haulier and ex-military man says: “This area is gonna be saturated with wind farms. And against the advice of their own planners too.
“I can smell skullduggery. People are starting to get agitated.
“This area has been identified to get hammered with wind farms.”
He added: “I’m not against green energy, but this area has been smothered.
“Wildlife is being kicked about the place, there’s hen harriers about here, I’ve seen snow geese too. EAC think they’re a green council but they’re not taking into account things like wildlife, peat and visual impacts.
“Also, We’re right under the flightpath of Prestwick.
“Our elected members sitting over there in Kilmarnock they think they’re doing the right thing putting their hands up like sheep, but the fact that they ignored their own advice and put this through is tosh.
“There’s a monument with 6 people interred at the top of the hill, where these turbines will be. They’ve no interest in the local people, no interest in local history.
“This is one that has gone too far, it’s untruthful that it’s not going to have an impact on the visual community.”
David McDowall, Interim Head of Planning & Economic Development said there is not currently “a strategic nation-wide approach to wind energy development”, and that there are no restrictions on applications in East Ayrshire.
He added: “It will be for Scottish Ministers to determine what weight they place on such matters as wildlife or peat impacts, amongst others, in taking account of all relevant matters when reaching their decision on the application.”
Last week, the planning committee ignored advice to object based on the impacts the size, scale, design and location of the turbines would have on the area. Mr McDowall said that the committee disagreed with the conclusion that the reasons stated above were sufficent for recommending the proposal be objected to.
Another local person who wished to remain anonymous said: “I see old dogs never change their spots. For several decades Cumnock & Doon Valley councillors approved one opencast coal site after another,believing they generated jobs that mitigation and/or restoration would make all OK.
“Once again jobs are quoted to justify another windfarm.. this time at Greenburn former OCCS
“It is notable that developers emphasise the amount of financial bung will be given to communities.
“This is not a planning consideration, but is clearly in councillors’ minds – just like the infamous Mineral Trust Money.. much of which was frittered on long forgotten ‘installations’.
“Perhaps it is time for elected members to check on how many full time, permanent local jobs have been ‘generated’ by wind-farm developers?
“Windfarms are constructed by specialist gangs imported for an 18month construction period: Some local people get short-term contracts for fencing, transport etc. If there is a training scheme, then they may well move away.
“Once powered up and generating, most developers employ peripatetic engineers to travel round their windfarm sites, to maintain them.
“Green energy is fine, when the carbon balance is neutral. Removing trees and peat, then having to restrict turbines when there is over supply is not green.”