Another wind farm plan goes to Edinburgh for a decision

Another local wind farm proposal will now be decided by the Scottish Government after Dumfries and Galloway Council failed for the second time in three months to deal with its application.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 12:36 pm
Save Our Hills is furious the decision will not be made locally

The Garcrogo and Barrmark Hill development, which would see nine turbines constructed near the village of Corsock, has been sent on to ministers for decision. Around five miles away, the eight-turbine Mochrum Fell plan will also be ruled upon in Edinburgh.

Campaigners in the area are furious that two major applications will now be considered at national level, without any debate or vote taking place locally.

It is now the sixth time a major onshore windfarm in Dumfries and Galloway has been referred to the Scottish Government’s planning reporter for decision.

Under planning rules, a windfarm company can automatically appeal a “deemed refusal” to the government, when a council doesn’t conclude the decision-making process within six months.

Save Our Hills said it was clear the local council didn’t have sufficient resources to deal with the number and complexity of windfarm applications with which it was confronted and called for better support from the Scottish Government.

The Garcrogo plan – which contains nearly 300 documents - has been tabled by German-owned giant EnergieKontor, while the Mochrum Fell bid has been submitted by Italian-owned Falck Renewables.

Iain Milligan, spokesman for Save Our Hills, said: “There is now a clear trend where councils are unable to manage such significant and detailed planning applications in the allotted time, with the inevitable consequence that they are simply passed on to the Scottish Government.

“This has now happened in Dumfries and Galloway twice in three months involving major applications within walking distance of each other.

“We simply cannot have a situation whereby huge firms deluge councils with applications knowing they just have to bide their time before the decision goes to an unelected official in Edinburgh.

“The Scottish Government must reject these applications, enable local councils to be adequately resourced to deal with them, and start putting its focus on other sources of renewable energy, as has already been done in England.”