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Row erupts over plans for taller windfarm turbines in the Glenkens

A row has erupted over a windfarm developer’s bid to win approval for taller turbines in the Glenkens.

Falck Renewables was granted planning permission for eight, 126.5m turbines at Mochrum Fell near Parton by the Scottish Government in 2016.

Their latest bid to win approval for seven turbines up 149.9m tall has seen them contact people across the region asking them to show their support for the project.

But the move has been criticised by people living near the proposed site who say they haven’t been contacted while homes several miles away have.

And they also question why a postcard that has been sent out only gives people the option to show their support for the development with no details of how to oppose it.

But Falck hit back and pointed out that many objectors had used a template letter sent out by opponents.

Spokesman for the Save Our Hills campaign group, Iain Milligan, told the News the company’s actions were “sitting very badly with those who’ll be affected by this development”.

He said: “Clearly, they want to get people in other parts of Dumfries and Galloway to signal their support for renewable energy generally but then use it as a way of claiming their windfarm has public support.

“Attempting to put words in the mouths of residents who live more than 20 miles away is no way to conduct genuine public engagement.”

More than 600 people objected to Falck’s original plan which was rejected by the council before being approved by the Scottish Government five years ago.

A spokesman for Falck said its pre-application consultation process for its new proposal showed a “significant level of support” in the region with nearly 60 per cent of people backing onshore wind and the majority in favour of the amended Mochrum Fell application.

He added: “Whilst objections have been sent in from residents, it is noted that these were gathered on template letters of objection, moreover a number of these letters are from people who do not live within Dumfries and Galloway, the region or indeed the country.

“We believe that every resident in Dumfries and Galloway has a right to support this clean energy project should they wish to do so.

“Falck Renewables believes that the opinions of Dumfries and Galloway residents are of paramount importance and hopes that their voices will be heard and trusts that the application for a minimal increase in height to the already approved project, and the removal of one turbine will be judged fairly on planning and policy grounds.”

Details of the application, including responses from members of the public, can be found online at www.mochrumfellwindfarm.co.uk.