South Scotland

Lowther Hills wind farm public inquiry begins

Turbines Image copyright Buccleuch/Forsa Energy
Image caption A public inquiry will help to decide the fate of the wind farm

A public inquiry has begun into a wind farm described as "visually dominant and incongruous" by a council.

Developers have scaled back the Lowther Hills project near Wanlockhead from 42 to 30 turbines.

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council are still opposing the scheme in the south of Scotland.

A hearing is taking place in Sanquhar Community Centre until 10 October after which a Scottish government reporter will decide if it should proceed.

Buccleuch sold its interest in the scheme to Forsa Energy earlier this year.

Forsa's renewable energy portfolio was, in turn, acquired by BayWa r.e. which is now taking the project forward.

The inquiry will initially examine the landscape and visual impact of the proposed development.

It will then look at a range of other issues including its economic significance, ecological effects and any noise concerns.

Closing submissions are likely to be allowed until early November with a decision issued some time after that.

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