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Planning refusal decision upheld by Scottish Government

 16 February 2015  |  

An appeal against South Ayrshire Council's decision to refuse a planning application to construct a windfarm at Breaker Hill, south of Girvan, has been dismissed by the Scottish Government's directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals. 

The planning application was to construct a wind farm on Breaker Hill close to the villages of Pinwherry and Colmonell, which overlooks the picturesque Stinchar and Duisk Valleys. 

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: "South Ayrshire has fantastic natural resources and it is vital that they are preserved and protected. I welcome the decision by the Scottish Government's directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals in upholding our decision to refuse planning permission for a windfarm at Breaker Hill. 

"The planning application, along with every other application we receive, was considered on an individual basis. After taking into account all the information put before us a decision was taken that it was not in the interests of the South Ayrshire environment to approve it." 

The area where the proposed Breaker Hill windfarm might have been is is popular with cyclists, and there are a number of excellent walking routes, including the Stinchar Valley Walks and routes to the tops of Knockdolian and Bargain Hill. There are also a number of nationally important natural heritage sites close by, as well as rare species of animals in the locality, including bats and squirrels. 

In considering the appeal against the Council's decision the Scottish Government Reporter noted that South Ayrshire already has a number of windfarms that are generating "renewable energy", and that other windfarms have recently been granted planning permission and are due to be constructed in the near future. 

The Reporter also noted that South Ayrshire Council, in refusing planning permission for the breaker hill windfarm has "sought to draw a line along the A714" to make a clear division between landscapes where wind farms are now constructed and the highly scenic hills adjacent to the coast, and agrees that this is reasonable. 

Councillor Bill McIntosh concluded: "The Scottish Government's decision helps to re-enforce the work that South Ayrshire Council, in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage has undertaken to establish a framework within which renewable energy can be provided, while still protecting and promoting sensitive natural and heritage resources for the enjoyment of South Ayrshire's residents and visitors."

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