Scotland rejects wind farm planning consent for Harelaw Renewable Energy Park

29 September 2013 (Last Updated September 29th, 2013 18:30)

The Scottish Government has rejected planning permission for Gamesa Energy's proposed 117MW Harelaw Renewable Energy Park to be constructed to the south of Neilston, on the border of East Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire.

Scotland Wind

The Scottish Government has rejected planning permission for Gamesa Energy's proposed 117MW Harelaw Renewable Energy Park to be constructed to the south of Neilston, on the border of East Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire.

Agreeing with the public inquiry reporter's findings, the government refused consent on the grounds of the Glenouther Moor wind farm project's significant landscape, visual and noise impacts and detrimental impacts on local businesses.

The East Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire councils also rejected, arguing that the proposed project differs from the terms of the development plan, Scottish planning policy and government guidance on wind farm development.

If approved and built, the plant would have generated enough electricity to power 47,000 homes.

In May 2009, Gamesa has filed a Section 36 application with the Scottish Government to develop the project with 40 turbines, but has revised the original application by reducing a turbine.

"The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable."

The proposed application included construction, commissioning and a 25-year operation and decommissioning of 39 three bladed horizontal axis wind turbines of 3MW each, 40 roof-mounted solar panels and associated works on Glenouther Moor.

In its application, the company stated that the main construction period is likely to last around 18 months, dependent on weather, from commencement of site investigation, survey and design work, through to the installation and commissioning of the turbines.

Scotland's energy minster Fergus Ewing said that Scotland has huge potential for renewable energy and is aimed at harnessing such energy, but not at the cost of the local communities and environment.

"The significant adverse impacts of the proposed Glenouther Moor wind farm to the local communities are too great," Ewing said.

"The Scottish Government wants to see the right developments in the right places and Scottish planning policy is clear that the design and location of any wind farm should reflect the scale and character of the landscape and should be considered environmentally acceptable."


Image: Harelaw Renewable Energy Park would have powered 47,000 homes. Photo: courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.

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