Feb 6 2013 By Sharon Liptrott
A windfarm developer has taken on Dumfries and Galloway Council for standing firm against a 10-turbine scheme.
RES, the company behind the proposed Minnigap Windfarm between Johnstonebridge and Moffat, has lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government.
In October, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning applications committee rejected the 20MW scheme on the grounds it would adversely affect the Ministry of Defence’s Eskdakemuir seismic array and because of an adverse impact on landscape and tourism.
The proposed turbines would be 125 metres tall, each rated at 2MW capacity, and are said to be capable of generating electricity to power 12,000 homes a yearl.
RES have lodged papers with the Scottish Government Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals. It is expected that an independent planning reporter will determine the outcome.
RES development project manager Graeme Kerr refutes that the proposed windfarm would affect the seismological centre in Eskdalemuir.
He said: “We are confident that Minnigap would not impact on the operation of the Eskdalemuir seismic array.
“Firstly, the limits set by the MoD to ensure vibrations from wind projects do not affect the array have not yet been reached by operational or consented windfarms and would not be exceeded should Minnigap be approved.
“As such, Minnigap could be consented, built and operate without impacting on the operation of the array.”
He also hit out at the MoD, saying: “The way they have notionally allocated the remaining vibration budget on a ‘first come, first served’ basis to projects as they enter the planning system is unfair and is unnecessarily delaying the delivery of numerous wind energy developments, including Minnigap.”
He also said there is “no supporting evidence” that the proposed windfarm would affect tourism, pointing out that VisitScotland made no objection.