Government approves wind farm after council fails to respond to appeal
The Scottish Government has approved planning permission for a wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway after the local authority failed to respond to an appeal over the project.
A government reporter ruled that nine turbines can be constructed at Margree, near St John’s Town of Dalry.
Dumfries & Galloway Council failed to decide the fate of the planning permission with the timescales and then failed to submit a response to an appeal.
The local authority claimed it had a number of bids for wind farms to deal with and “limited staff”.
Planning legislation allows a four-month period for councils to deal with such applications. However, the council said it was usually able to arrange a “processing agreement” with developers to allow a longer timescale.
In this case that could not be reached and so developers EnergieKontor UK lodged an appeal against the non-determination of the application.
The reporter for the appeal to the Scottish ministers wrote that the council the lack of response from the council meant it could not determine its views on the proposals.
The reporter wrote: “Despite the lack of council engagement, I am satisfied that the responses from statutory and other consultees and the representations that have been made by interested parties, together with the appellant’s EIA report and additional environmental information, provide sufficient information to reach a reasoned conclusion on the significant environmental effects of the proposed development and to determine this appeal.”
It noted the location of the wind farm would not “adversely” affect the designated area, despite some impact on the local characteristics of the landscape.
It approved the decision on the basis it agreed to the conditions on the scheme, which included the turbines maximum height being 200 metres, with atmospheric, noise and operational conditions to stop impacting the local community.