Another Glenkens windfarm proposal is the subject of an appeal to the Scottish Government.
Energiekontor has asked Holyrood to make a decision on their proposals for nine, 200m tall turbines at Garcrogo near Corsock because the council hasn’t reached a verdict within the required timeframe.
It’s the sixth time plans for a windfarm in the Glenkens have been subject of such an appeal since August last year.
Last month, the News reported that campaigners against plans for eight turbines at Mochrum Fell felt the council had “failed” local residents by not making a decision.
And members of the Save Our Hills group, who are against the nearby Garcrogo development, are unhappy the door has been opened for Energiekontor to lodge an appeal.
Spokesman Iain Milligan said: “There is now a clear trend where councils are unable to manage such significant and detailed planning applications in the allotted time, with the inevitable consequence that they are simply passed on to the Scottish Government.
“This has now happened in Dumfries and Galloway twice in three months involving major applications.
“If Dumfries and Galloway’s local authority can’t cope, that is likely to be the same for rural councils the country over.
“We simply cannot have a situation whereby huge, often foreign-owned, firms deluge councils with applications knowing they just have to bide their time before the decision goes to an unelected official in Edinburgh.”
Mr Milligan added: “We completely understand the need for renewable energy but simply plastering the countryside with onshore windfarms isn’t the way to go.
“Scotland’s precious and unique countryside must be protected by those elected – locally and nationally – to look after it.”
A spokesman for the council said there were plans to hire an extra additional senior planner and receive landscape architect advice from outside the authority to help handle applications.
He added: “Applications for major windfarms are very complex, contain a lot of detailed environmental and other information and require the input from a number of internal and external specialist consultees.
“Most applications require either some additional information or amendment, all of which takes time. For this reason, the council always seeks to enter into a processing agreement with windfarm applicants.
“This agreement sets out a realistic timetable for the determination of their application and the respective responsibilities of both parties. However, this is a voluntary arrangement and where a developer refuses to sign up to a processing agreement, they retain a statutory right of appeal to the Scottish Ministers if the application has not been determined by the council within four months.”
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