South Scotland

Scottish government reporter refuses Carsluith wind farm plans

Turbine Image copyright Thinkstock

A Scottish government reporter has refused planning permission for a seven-turbine south of Scotland wind farm after developers lodged an appeal.

The proposals near Carsluith attracted more than 1,200 representations against them and more than 100 in support.

Skylark Energy - a joint venture by Ecotricity and Skanska - had appealed over Dumfries and Galloway Council's failure to determine the application.

A reporter found no grounds to let the California scheme proceed.

"I do not consider that the undoubted renewable energy benefits of the proposal are sufficient to outweigh the adverse impacts on landscape, visual receptors and the cultural heritage," he concluded.

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson welcomed the decision.

"Today's decision by the Scottish government is the right one," he said.

"Unlike the decision on Mochrum Fell last week, in this case it appears that the voices of local people have been listened to and concerns about the visual impact of the proposed development have been taken into consideration.

"In the end over 1,200 objections were received by Dumfries and Galloway Council against this development - a significant number indeed."

'Adverse effect'

He praised the efforts of the Save Wigtown Bay action group which led opposition to the scheme.

"As the reporter states in his decision, the development would have had a significant adverse effect on views across the Wigtown Bay from Wigtown and the Machars," he said.

"This confirms the point that people made at the start - it was never the correct place for a wind farm to be situated."

Dumfries and Galloway MP Richard Arkless said he was "delighted" the development would not go ahead.

"Businesses in Wigtown are based almost exclusively on tourism related activities, the town attracts people seeking tranquillity in an unspoilt natural environment," he said.

"Wigtown Bay itself is Britain's largest local nature reserve - it was simply never the right place for such an imposing wind farm and I am both pleased and relieved to hear that the planning appeals board has supported this view."

He said the hard work had "paid off" for the Save Wigtown Bay group.

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