We have been a little late in reporting this important news – perhaps too busy celebrating. However, finally, after 4 missed decision target dates we know the outcome of the Barcloy Hill wind farm appeal.
It's good news for local residents with the Reporter dismissing the appeal.
The Reporter supported the council's and SNH's assessments and guidance from the Dumfries and Galloway Wind Farm Landscape Capacity Study (DGWLCS), including that:-
- the local landscape is medium in scale with some small scale features which do not have the capacity to absorb large turbines. This was in contrast to the developer's assertion that the landscape scale was medium-large.
- Scottish Natural Heritage's (SNH) guidance on siting wind farms, which identifies turbines should be of minor vertical scale in relation to key landscape features, (ideally no more than one third the height) should be considered. She highlighted how the turbines would be almost the same height as the ridge which would have the effect of "minimising the height of the ridge" and "make it look smaller".
- the "development would have a detrimental impact on Bengairn both in terms of how it would be viewed from outwith the NSA and also on the views available from its summit." thus conflicting with local policy NE1.
- there would be a detrimental impact on the nearby Regional Scenic Area and significant visual impacts for several residents close to the site.
- the Reporter also noted that the developer included no assesment of the impact on resdential amenity in their submission
The Reporter did NOT agree with the developer's assessment that the Barcloy ridge was not a particularly prominent feature and highlighted "that the photomontages in the Environmental Statement are not a true representation of the prominence of Barcloy hill as it is seen in real life from various viewpoints."
The conclusion was that "the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would justify granting planning permission".