Shennaton windfarm

Dumfries & Galloway council’s planning committee looks set to refuse permission for a wind farm at Shennaton, Kirkcowan, next Tuesday.

Despite Brookfield Renewable UK Limited receiving more letters of support for the 30-megawatt, 12-turbine development than objections, 91 to 58, the council’s consultant landscape architect has objected on the grounds the development would be contrary to the local development planning policy.

In a report, the architect said: “The proposed development would contribute to cumulative effects experienced from the A75 when seen sequentially with the operational windfarms of Barlockhart Moor and Carscreugh.

“The cumulative effects on the A75 would be significant where this proposal was seen together and simultaneously with these operational developments and the proposed windfarm developments of Annabaglish and Auchleand. Significant cumulative effects would also be likely to arise on views in and around the settlement of Kirkcowan.”

At the time the application was submitted, in February 2015, there were 138 operational turbines, 161 under construction or given consent and 98 applied for within 30km of Shennaton, giving a possible total of 397 if all get planning permission.

The architect also said the turbines would be sited within the ‘Moss and Moor Lowland Landscape Character Type’.

The landscape has a small to medium scale and the proposed 100m turbines, which would be on the north-eastern slopes of Culvennan fell, would not reflect the scale of its landscape content, dominating smaller features including rocky hills which form a prominent ridge between Culvennan Fell and Fell End.

As well as 12 turbines, the proposal includes 12 transformer kiosks, 12 hard-standing areas adjacent, a sub-station, a borrow pit, a permanent wind monitoring mast and two temporary ones, 6.9km of access track and access from the road.

Cree Valley Community Council had no objections and Wigtown community Council decided neither to support nor object. However, Wigtown CC wanted its concern about the increasing number of turbines and growing public concern locally about the cumulative impact noted.

Brookfield Renewable UK Limited submitted a letter in December on proposals to explore options for shared ownership of the proposed wind farm with local communities.