Wind mast bid refused

Plans for an 80-metre high wind speed monitoring mast on Kirkdale Hill, Carsluith which would have paved the way for a wind farm have been refused.

Ecotricity (Next Generation Ltd) had hoped for permission to erect the mast, anchored by seven wire guys, just 1.5km from the A75, which had been recommended for approval by planners.

But with 62 objections, the case went before Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning committee on Wednesday who decided the site was too important – being a Regional Scenic Area – to have with a mast placed there and later, the proposed seven-turbine California Wind Park.

Residents in the local area as well as across Wigtown Bay had been in uproar over the plans which would mean the 126-metre high turbines would be visible from miles around, and particularly from the western shores of Wigtown Bay and its nature reserve.

The main points of objection were on the grounds of visual impact; impact on historical sites such as Cairn Holy chambered cairns and Bagbie Cairn; effect on tourism and adverse effects of the nearby Dark Sky Park. The RSPB said it was aware of red kites and peregrines nesting within three kilometres of the mast site and Historic Scotland has also voiced “significant concerns” for the wind farm plans. It is yet to be confirmed whether Ecotricity plan to take the case to appeal.