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Skelmorlie windfarm firm ‘to consider next move’ after council rejects proposal

The firm behind a failed plan to erect 150m-tall wind turbines in the countryside have branded the rebuff a ‘missed opportunity’ to create jobs and tackle climate change.

Councillors unanimously rejected the development at Rigghill, south east of Skelmorlie, after it was found to be in breach of 10 policies within a local development plan.

There were also concerns raised about the impact on tourism, land around Clyde Muirshiel Park and archaeological issues.

All of the community councils in the area objected to the proposals.

The company behind the bid say they are going to ‘review the decision’ before deciding their next step.

It is possible they could appeal and try to overturn the council’s decision through an appeal to the Scottish Government.

Bosses from Burcote Wind and ERG, the firms behind the windfarm, said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ by the refusal.

A spokesperson said: “Our proposal would have generated enough electricity annually to power the equivalent of 34,729 UK households and brought up to £210,000 per annum into the local economy through community benefit funding.

“This project would have contributed significantly to tackling the climate emergency formally recognised by the Scottish Government, the UK Government and by countries around the world.

“Climate change impacts will have multi-generational consequences unless we take action now.

“It is estimated within the renewable energy industry that 1GW of onshore wind in Scotland would need to be deployed every year up to 2035 to meet climate change objectives.

“This is the equivalent of 20 Rigghill windfarms every year.

“We believe that this is a genuine missed opportunity, not only for the communities around the development who would have benefited from both our grants and community ownership models, but also for the wider region, in particular local companies who could have benefited from our unique local procurement policy.

“We will now hold an internal review of the decision and consider our next step going forward.”

Burcote Wind and ERG teamed up to put forward the proposals under the umbrella of Rigghill Wind Farm Limited.

Burcote is a Scottish renewables outfit based in Dunfermline, operating since 2009 with an active portfolio of projects throughout Scotland while ERG is an Italian company based in Genoa.