January 11, 2021

Lowther Hills wind farm project rejected by government

BBC News | January 11, 2021 | www.bbc.co.uk

A wind farm project described as “visually dominant and incongruous” by a council has been rejected by the Scottish government.

Developers scaled back the Lowther Hills scheme near Wanlockhead from 42 to 30 turbines.

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council still opposed the proposals which were taken to a public inquiry.

Ministers have now concluded their impact on the landscape would be “unacceptable” and refused the plans.

A public inquiry was held into the project in late 2019 to look at whether it should proceed.

Original developer Buccleuch sold its interest in the scheme to Forsa Energy prior to that.

Forsa’s renewable energy portfolio was, in turn, acquired by BayWa r.e. which was taking the project forward.

The Scottish government has now issued its verdict on the plans which it said should not go ahead.

Ministers agreed that the scheme could help meet renewable energy targets but that did not outweigh its impact on the area.

They concluded it would have “significant adverse landscape and visual impacts” as well as adversely affecting the historic setting of Wanlockhead.

The decision has been welcomed by MP David Mundell who represents Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

He said it was “clearly the right decision” and reflected the views held in the area.

His son, Oliver Mundell, who is the MSP for Dumfriesshire said the scheme would have been a “blot on the landscape” and risked damaging ecology and wildlife in the area.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2021/01/11/lowther-hills-wind-farm-project-rejected-by-government/