Tur­bines are turned down

Ad­verse ef­fect on scenic land­scape

Ayrshire Post - - Cumnock And Doon Valley - Sarah Hil­ley

A wind farm plan for one of the “most scenic” land­scapes in East Ayr­shire has been turned down.

De­vel­op­ers wanted to erect seven tur­bines only 1.3 km from New Cum­nock on a sheep farm.

Innogy Re­new­ables of­fered the New Cum­nock com­mu­nity the chance to in­vest 15 per­cent in the ven­ture at a cost of £ 3.8 mil­lion.

Coun­cil­lors re­jected the 135- me­tre tall tur­bine bid at a meet­ing of the East Ayr­shire plan­ning com­mit­tee after of­fi­cers rec­om­mended its re­fusal.

A coun­cil re­port said the plan would bring wind farm de­vel­op­ment closer to “more set­tled, sen­si­tive land­scapes.”

It de­scribed Glen Afton as one of the most “scenic and sen­si­tive in East Ayr­shire.”

It stated the Ash­mark Hill pro­posal would cause “sig­nif­i­cant ad­verse land­scape and vis­ual im­pacts.”

Innogy of­fered the New Cum­nock De­vel­op­ment Trust shared own­er­ship of the wind farm at 15 per cent. The com­mu­nity com­pany had not ac­cepted so far but had vouched sup­port for the re­new­able pro­posal.

Coun­cil­lor John McFadzean ques­tioned whether the Trust would be able to raise £ 3.8 mil­lion.

The Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor said: “We don’t want to stand in the way of progress.”

New Cum no ck Com­mu­nity Coun­cil also sup­ported the de­vel­op­ment stat­ing the “scale of the pro­posal is ap­pro­pri­ate in the con­text of the sur­round­ing area.”

It is the sec­ond at­tempt to build a wind farm on the site by the same de­vel­oper, which was pre­vi­ously called RWE Innogy UK.

The ear­lier bid, which was also thrown out, was sim­i­lar with seven tur­bines but they only reached 116 me­tres high.

Coun­cil­lors un­der­took a site visit to con­sider the mat­ter on Tues­day.

Karen Fox, Innogy head of de­vel­op­ment strat­egy, said: “We are ver y sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed with to­day’s de­ci­sion.

“It does not re­flect the sup­port for the project. No ob­jec­tions were raised by any of the statu­tory con­sul­tees and only two were raised by mem­bers of the pub­lic.”

The com­pany said it was con­sid­er­ing whether to ap­peal.

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