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Wind farms Ayrshire: Overhill plans knocked back by council

An application for 10 wind turbines to be installed near Dalmellington is set to be rejected by planning chiefs over size concerns.

The proposed Over Hill Windfarm was earmarked for a site around 4km south-west of Dalmellington and 8km from New Cumnock.

The site is dominated by poorly drained undulating peatland and is the home of the former Benbain and Chalmerston Pennyvenie opencast coal sites.

The development, proposed by German company, Energiekontor, sought to create 10, 180m high (to blade tip) Nordex N133 turbines with an installed capacity of 48MW. The plans were adjusted from earlier proposals in 2017 that included shorter turbines.

Earlier proposals had been granted consent by the council on May, 7, 2020.

However, after measuring the amount of wind in the area and finding there to be less than expected, the developers said it was necessary to increase the size of their turbines to compensate.

This however, has prompted planning chiefs to advise East Ayrshire Council to now reject the proposals.

A report presented to the council ahead of a committee meeting on Thursday, states: “The proposed development would result in significant adverse impacts on a number of matters, particularly landscape and visual impacts and peat.

“The scale of the turbines now proposed would exert considerable influence on residential visual amenity.”

Nine representations were received from four individuals about the plans. Objections concerned issues of visual impact, with the increased height of the turbines said to make the development overwhelming and unacceptable in terms of residential visual amenity.

Also, objectors raised the cumulative effect of another wind farm on the landscape leading to ‘surrounding effect’.