Auchleand plans delayed

Auchleand Wind Farm is set for land between Newton Stewart and Wigtown.
Auchleand Wind Farm is set for land between Newton Stewart and Wigtown.

A decision on the Auchleand wind farm near Wigtown could be delayed by a further two months as developers are set to ask for an extension.

Representatives from Community Windpower Ltd spoke this week to community councillors in Newton Stewart and said they were awaiting responses from consultees who had as yet failed to voice an opinion over the application.

Jodie Parkes, assistant project manager at Community Windpower, said that while Historic Scotland had objected to the now reduced wind farm, other bodies hadn’t been so forthcoming.

She said of plans for an eight–turbine field of windmills reaching between 120m and 130m high: “Historic Scotland have issues with the nearby Torhouse Stones and cairn but we have meetings lined up to discuss this with them.

“However, we are still waiting for several consultees to respond so we will be going to Dumfries and Galloway Council this week to seek en extension on our planning application until June 9.”

She added that the company had been surprised at the level of objection from the community to the proposed height of the new turbines.

Nearby resident Mary Armstrong spoke up to ask why no mention has been made of the ancient gravestones and remains of the former parish church at Clachan of Penninghame, but Miss Parkes said it was the job of Historic Scotland to flag those sort of things up in their report if they felt it was necessary and that hadn’t been done.

Miss Armstrong added: “No one has carried out a deep-penetrating geophysical survey as yet.

“History is being written as we speak and you come along with your tonnes of concrete to make access roads and destroy it all.”

Miss Parkes agreed to take these concerns back to the company.

Miss Parkes said further discussions will be carried out with Wigtown, Newton Stewart and Kirkcowan community councils in due courses the application progresses.