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Ayrshire windfarm would be ‘a rape of the landscape’ says councillor  

Credit:  South Ayrshire Councillors have bluntly stated their opposition to the building of 14 turbines, each 200m high, near Barr. | By Kevin Dyson, Local Democracy Reporter | 4 FEB 2022 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk ~~

A proposed Ayrshire windfarm has been described as a ‘rape of the landscape’, an act of ‘environmental vandalism’, and ‘a disaster for the local community’, should it get the go ahead.

South Ayrshire Councillors were forthright as they spoke of their strongly worded opposition to a plan to build fourteen 200m high turbines near Barr.

The council’s Regulatory Panel discussed a formal objection to a Scottish Government consultation on the plans, based on the impact on the landscape, the dark sky park, road infrastructure and the cutting off of a local farm’s water supply.

Councillors were unanimous in their objections to the plan.

SNP councillor Craig Mackay said: “The height of these turbines is progressively increasing. The proposals are much bigger than we were seeing five years ago.

“I am very much a supporter renewable energy, but I feel we are reaching saturation point.”

Councillor Alec Clark said the local community was extremely concerned by the plans.

He said: “It would be an environmental disaster and would be a disaster to the community. These are 200m high turbines compared to the usual 100m-130m so that is a huge increase.”

He also criticised the application for the use of the U25 and U27.

Councillor Clark added: “These are roads that are already impassable and they want to use these for heavy goods traffic. There is already concern at a lack of passing places.”

“One of the most visually pleasing areas in whole of Ayrshire is going to be destroyed.”

Councillor Brian McGinley said: “We need to find sympathetic ways to generate electricity but this is not sustainable. If it was sustainable would take into consideration damage to local environment. This seems to ignore it.

“I believe it is tantamount to environmental vandalism and I am very disappointed in lack of forethought and consideration of other users and residents in the area.”

Conservative councillor Mary Kilpatrick: “I could have wept when read this report. I just feel it is like a rape of the landscape.”

Labour councillor Ian Cavana said: “I’m sitting in bedroom upstairs in Ayr and feel I could see the turbines from here. It is a bridge too far.”

In the report, officials stated that there would be a ‘significant adverse landscape and visual effects due to the scale and positioning of the proposed turbines’.

They added that there was no evidence that lighting ‘would not introduce intrusive and prominent lights into an area important for its dark skies, thus adversely impacting upon views from the Merrick Wild Land Area and transition area of the Dark Sky Park’.

It also pointed to the impact of the windfarm on tourism, specifically mentioning Merrick Wild Land Area, Galloway Forest Park, The Dark Sky Park, stretches of the National Cycle Route 7, and ‘important viewpoints’ including Colonel Hunter Blair Monument, Cornish Hill and Shalloch on Minnoch Hill.

Further objections related to the lack of radar mitigation in relation to planes flying to and from Prestwick Airport, the potential damage to water supply of a nearby farm.

It was also stated the project would result in an ‘unacceptable increase in HGV traffic’ on an inadequate road infrastructure during construction.

In the event of the council not withdrawing its objection, the Scottish Government would be forced to hold a public inquiry.

A report to councillors said that the development could potentially bring £8.9m into the local economy, add to business rates and new jobs.

The windfarm could power between almost 60,000 and 78,000 homes each year.

Source:  South Ayrshire Councillors have bluntly stated their opposition to the building of 14 turbines, each 200m high, near Barr. | By Kevin Dyson, Local Democracy Reporter | 4 FEB 2022 | www.dailyrecord.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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