COUNCILLORS in this region are being advised not to object to plans for the Daer Windfarm, eight miles west of Moffat, despite the visual impact it will have.
They are being consulted by Scottish Ministers about the proposal, which is located on land straddling both Dumfries and Galloway and South Lanarkshire.
RWE Renewables are seeking permission for 17 turbines there, with a height of 103.5 metres and a 35 year lifespan.
Of those, five would be sited in this region, specifically within the Thornhill Uplands Regional Scenic Area.
Council planning official Robert Duncan has been considering the case and written up an extensive report for next week’s planning committee meeting.
He says: “It should be noted that on 29 March 2022 South Lanarkshire Council formally issued a consultation response raising no objection to the proposals subject to conditions and a legal agreement.”
Despite Dumfries and Galloway Council’s own landscape architect expressing concern about the impact on the eastern Lowther Hills and the windfarm pattern it would create, Mr Duncan is advising elected members not to object.
He admits it would “have a significant and adverse effect on landscape character and visual amenity in the locality as well as having adverse effects on the Thornhill Uplands and Moffat Hills Regional Scenic Areas”.
However, he goes on to say that their policies state that “any significant adverse effects on the integrity of the designated landscape area have to be clearly outweighed by social, environmental or economic benefits”.
And he concludes this does that, saying: “The benefits of the proposal are considered to be of such weight when considered to together that it is considered that the proposal should be supported, and that it is recommend that the council raise no objection to the proposal on that basis.”