A wind farm has been approved in Dumfries and Galloway after the local authority failed to respond to an appeal over the project.
The Scottish government has ruled that nine turbines can be constructed at Margree near St John’s Town of Dalry.
The council failed to decide its fate within statutory timescales and then submitted no response to the appeal.
The local authority said it had a considerable number of wind farm bids to deal with and “limited staff”.
Planning legislation allows a four-month period for councils to deal with such applications.
However, the council said it was usually able to arrange a “processing agreement” with developers to allow a longer timescale.
In this case that could not be reached and so an appeal was lodged against the non-determination of the application.
The council stressed that its lack of response was not a “conscious decision” to allow the Scottish government to decide the project’s fate.
It said that it had still been awaiting consultee comment when the appeal had been lodged.
It added that a resourcing issue in its development management service had been recognised and recommendations of how to tackle it were being taken forward.
A Scottish government reporter said that due to its lack of input the council’s views on the project were “unknown”.
However, he decided that despite their lack of involvement there was enough information to reach a “reasoned conclusion” on the scheme.
He said the location was appropriate for a wind farm despite some significant landscape character impact.
A string of conditions were attached in order for the project to proceed.
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