A windfarm planning saga which has rumbled on for nearly two decades has finally been resolved.
Energiekontor UK has been granted planning permission by the Scottish Government to build nine turbines at Margree near Dalry.
The firm called for Holyrood to step in last year as the local authority hadn’t made a decision within the required timeframe – with the Scottish Government reporter noting in his findings a “lack of council engagement”.
Reporter David Buylla considered concerns raised by objectors about the impact the project – estimated to cost more than £60 million to build – would have on the local landscape.
But he found there would be “no significant effect” on two regional scenic areas near the proposed site.
He accepted there would be “significant visual amenity affects” from the Southern Upland Way, which runs near the proposed site, especially when combined with other windfarms either being built or in development.
But he felt other schemes “would be the most prominent element” people would see.
Concerns were also raised regarding the detrimental impact turbines could have on the region’s tourism industry.
Mr Buylla said tourism was “an important contributor to the local economy” but also pointed out the area “already accommodates a relatively large number of wind energy developments and this does not appear to have diminished tourism activity”.
The reporter granted permission for the nine turbines which will be up to 200m tall and have a combined capacity of up to 50 megawatts. The windfarm will be allowed to operate for up to 35 years and Mr Buylla attached more than 30 conditions to the planning permission approval.
Plans to develop Margree first emerged as far back as 2005 but planning permission wasn’t obtained before developers Margree Wind Energy Ltd in 2019 went in to liquidation.
The following year, Energiekontor unveiled their plans for 15 turbines on the site but they then scaled that back to nine.
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