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27/09/13 09:46

Wind farm planning consent refused

Impact to communities too high.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has today refused planning consent for the Harelaw Renewable Energy Park proposed wind farm within planning authority areas of East Ayrshire and East Renfrewshire Councils.

The Energy Minister concurred with the findings of the Public Inquiry Reporter that the design of the wind farm in combination with the number and height of the turbines would appear out of scale with the surrounding landscape and that it would have significant adverse landscape and visual impacts. Mr Ewing was also concerned that the visual impact to nearby properties and the likely noise from the proposal would be detrimental to the residential amenities of several nearby properties.

The original application submitted by Gamesa Energy UK Ltd was for a 117MW, 40 turbines with a tip height up to 118 metres to be built on Glenouther Moor, south of Neilston.

The Planning Authority, the two local authorities, objected to the application stating that the development of the wind farm would have significant landscape, visual and noise impacts and detrimental impacts on local businesses.

Energy Minster Fergus Ewing said:

“Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and I am determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy – but not at any cost and we will ensure a balanced approach in taking forward this policy, as we have in the past and will in future.

“The significant adverse impacts of the proposed Glenouther Moor wind farm to the local communities is too great.

“The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable.”

Notes to editors

  • The Scottish Government has determined 86 energy applications, including 59 renewable applications. Consent has been granted for 32 onshore wind, 1 offshore wind, 19 hydro, 4 wave and tidal, 2 Renewable Thermal Plant; and 18 non-renewable projects since May 2007. Consent has been refused for 10 energy applications since May 2007 (including this refusal), all of which were onshore wind farms.
  • The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents and Deployment Unit is currently considering another 57 applications of >50MW capacity generating stations, including 53 onshore wind applications, 1 renewable hydro application, 1 non-renewable hydro applications, 2 renewable thermal applications. In addition to this there are 13 active applications for overhead lines, and 1 application for a Water Rights Order associated with a hydro development.