Carsphairn turbine 'ring of steel' objection lodged

image copyrightBurcote Wind
image captionThe Mountaineering Council of Scotland said the project would "close the circle" around the peak

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has objected to wind farm plans which it claims would form a "ring of steel" around a hill in Galloway.

It has concerns about the impact of the 10-turbine Longburn scheme on Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.

The organisation said the project would "close the circle" around the peak.

Developers have said they have already halved the number of turbines and increased their distance from the Southern Upland Way.

MCS chief executive officer David Gibson said: "In the northern view from Cairnsmore of Carsphairn there are no less than 181 turbines operational or consented and 75 in the planning process, none of which MCS has objected to.

"Looking east, we have not objected to a wind farm 10km away with 15 turbines, nor to an extension application for a further 11 turbines.

"Also to the east, but only two to six kilometres away, there are two applications for 31 turbines, to which we have raised objections."

'Enough is enough'

He said the organisation also had concerns about the Longburn application, to the south-east of the hill.

"We think enough is enough and we are calling on Dumfries and Galloway Council to refuse the application," he said.

"We have not objected to many wind farms in this area because we recognise the need for low-carbon electricity generation but, with the risk of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn being entirely encircled by a ring of steel, we are now fighting to save the iconic southward view across the Glenkens to the Rhinns of Kells."

Fraser Campbell, operations director of Burcote Wind, said it was disappointed by the objection especially as the group had not objected to previous plans for 20 turbines on the same site.

"Burcote Wind is currently undertaking a comprehensive programme of consultation on our Longburn wind farm proposals, working closely with communities and stakeholders to ensure that our application is as well designed and well suited to the site as possible," he said.

"This builds on the success of our recently consented Sandy Knowe wind farm in Upper Nithsdale, where we received overwhelming support from the local communities and became one of the first wind farms in Dumfries and Galloway to offer community ownership to local communities.

"Our model has been routinely praised and we feel that the objection from MCS does not reflect the feedback that we have received locally, where Burcote's approach to development and economic and social benefits has been welcomed across Nithsdale."

He added that the company would be happy to meet with the mountaineering group.

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