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Windfarm bid would be ‘overbearing’

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By Newsdesk
Annan and Eskdale
Windfarm bid would be ‘overbearing’

A PROPOSED windfarm north of Langholm would “disrupt and detract” from the natural landscape, according to a report due to be presented to councillors this week.

Community Wind Power has submitted an application to build 45 wind turbines at Faw Side, approximately 6 km north of Langholm and extending to Teviotdale in the Scottish Borders.

Due to the potential capacity of the development the Scottish Government will make the final decision on the application.

But a report prepared for Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning applications committee recommends that councillors raise objections to the proposals, based on the impact the development would have on the surrounding landscape.

Consent has already been granted for 14 windfarms within 45 km of the proposed Faw Side site, with four additional applications currently under consideration.

And the council’s landscape architect is concerned that the proposed Faw Side windfarm does not fit well with the surrounding landscape.

In the report they write: “Faw Side would be an overbearing and prominent influence in the local and mid-range landscape due to the scale of the turbines, windfarm spread, and the requirement for aviation lighting.

“Whilst the effects of Faw Side are part cumulative in nature, where the scheme would be seen and experienced in relation to the emerging West Langholm wind energy cluster; it is not the cumulative interactions per se that are most problematic, but the fit of the proposals with the landscape.”

If approved, Community Windpower claims Faw Side would generate enough electricity to power 343,000 each year and could generate £157 million for the local economy during its life span, including £14 million in community benefit funding.

The report continues: “Whilst the socio-economic benefits highlighted are a material consideration in favour of the development, these benefits are not considered to outweigh the significant and adverse environmental impacts in respect of landscape and visual impacts, including cumulative impacts, and cultural heritage which would arise as a result of the proposal.

“It is therefore recommended that Dumfries and Galloway Council object to the proposal in its current form and notify the Scottish Ministers as such.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning applications committee will consider the report at a meeting on Wednesday.

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