A FURTHER 14 wind turbines were approved for Galloway on Wednesday, bringing the total to 110 passed by officials in a week.
The Airies wind farm, for land between Glenluce and Kirkcowan, near Three Lochs, was given the nod following a planning meeting in Dumfries – despite being recommended for refusal by planners.
The committee was split with the casting vote lying with chairman, Councillor Graham Nicol, who felt there was insufficient argument for rejecting the plans. And no objection was received from Kirkcowan or Old Luce community councils towards the plans by Scottish company 2020 Renewables, with Old Luce actually offering support.
2020 Renewables said that although not a material consideration during the Planning Applications Committee decision, it would support a community benefit fund once the project is operational, amounting to as much as £175,000 per annum.
It added that the location of the wind farm is screened and set back some distance from the nearest villages of Glenluce and Kirkcowan, and that the site is covered in commercial forestry and not considered a prime recreational area.
Managing director of 2020 Renewables Alan Baker said: “The wind farm is wholly within an ‘area of search’ deemed appropriate by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Interim Planning Policy for the establishment of a wind farm and we would like to thank the council for providing clear and robust planning policy.
“We would also like to thank the local residents and the community councils for their involvement with the project. Airies wind farm will be well screened and the closest village is Kirkcowan, which is 8km south.
“We are committed to moving this project forward and will actively engage with the local communities and local businesses. 2020 Renewables looks forward to working with local firms to maximise the benefit for the Dumfries and Galloway area.”
On our Facebook page, Sandy Stevenson said: “They’re taking down wind farms in the USA, MA to be precise and Australia are doing a study regarding the health of people living near these monstrosities. They’re a health hazard.”
Brian Ferguson responded: “A health hazard to what up at Airies? 12 score of sheep, three deer and a badger!”
n Port William Community Council has plans to spend their its wind-farm windfall before a turbine has turned. At Wednesday night’s meeting, treasurer Jim Gray said they were to apply for their share of community money from the 18-turbine Carsecreugh wind farm near Glenluce that should be operational in approximately a year.
Jim said he was dealing with a communications company in Edinburgh regarding the community hand-out from Gamesa Energy UK. Wigtown West Councillor Grahame Forster told the meeting that once the application for community kick-back funds was “in the system” Port William should get around £2000 annually. The community council decided to pre-spend the money to re-roof the community store, and refill the coffers when the wind farm money arrived.