A wind farm in southern Scotland has been given the go-ahead despite claims it will “unacceptably diminish” the hillwalking experience in Galloway.
Mountaineering Scotland (MS) objected to the 17-turbine Shepherd’s Rig plan near Carsphairn.
Dumfries and Galloway Council also argued the landscape was “incapable of accommodating the development”.
A Scottish government reporter noted the hillwalking concerns but ruled that it could proceed.
Proposals for a wind farm in the area surfaced nearly a decade ago when up to 45 turbines were planned.
The numbers were scaled back but some objections remained and a public inquiry was held in November 2021.
Carsphairn Community Council strongly opposed the plans with particular concerns about road safety on the B729.
MS argued that the development would have an adverse impact on nearby hills – Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and the Rhinns of Kells.
It suggested that recreation and tourism activity in the area would be reduced as a result.
The council also voiced concerns that the project would not respect the “special qualities” of the Galloway hillside.
In addition, 65 letters of representation were received – the majority of them against the plans.
Developers said the scheme could contribute more than £16m to the local economy during construction, plus a community fund of nearly £800,000 during every year of operation.
They added that it would also help to meet national green energy targets.
The Scottish government decided that its benefits would outweigh any negative impact and ruled that it could proceed with more than 30 conditions attached.
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