Objection planned to Linfairn wind plan

WilloWind Energy has submitted a formal planning application for its proposed Linfairn windfarm in South Ayrshire.

The company say that after carrying out an extensive public engagement programme to ensure all interested parties could comment on its plans, it has finalised a revised design that involves key changes to both the number and locations of the turbines.

However local campaign group Save Straiton for Scotland say the plan is “totally inappropriate” and that it will be objecting to the proposal.

The revised layout will now see 25 turbines on the site, with the turbine nearest to the village of Straiton to be relocated more than 2km south west from the village.

Willowind say the application now provides details of the access route to the site which it says, crucially, avoids Straiton.

WilloWind Energy had initially planned for a wind farm with 29 turbines but after holding a public exhibition on the plans in January the company has decided to revise the plans in its submission to Scottish ministers.

Martin Davie, CEO of WilloWind Energy, said the company sought to involve local people, politicians and other stakeholders and interested parties to progress the Linfairn development with sensitivity.

He said: “We’re very pleased to have reached this milestone. It is also especially pleasing to have had such active involvement from local people in getting the plans to the application stage– we’ve gone to great lengths to respond to the issues raised with us about this development, and have included a number of measures in our application which we believe fully address them.

“Central to this has been our commitment to reduce the number and alter the locations of the turbines, as well as ensuring the access route to the site goes nowhere near Straiton. It is a clear endorsement of what we said we’d do – that is to listen to the views of the community to help us determine the final shape of our planning application.

“This project would also bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses. WilloWind Energy is happy to continue to work closely with the Kirkmichael, Straiton and Crosshill and Maybole Community Councils and local councillors to look at possible community benefits.”

Bill Steven, chairman of campaign group Save Straiton for Scotland said: “Save Straiton for Scotland will most definitely be objecting to Willowind’s Linfairn application.

“This proposed development is totally inappropriate.

“Willowind has not listened to the views of the community to help them determine the final shape of their planning application, anything but.

“Willowind’s community engagement has been pathetic, no contact made with the many impacted individuals around Straiton. If they were listening they would know the feeling of the community and the views of the eight local elected politicians we have had out to visit the area.

“All with different political views but they all have one thing in common, they all say no to the Linfairn proposal. We will be spending the next 28 days building a professional objection to submit to the Scottish Government. Save Straiton for Scotland has employed the services of planning, landscape and noise professionals to help articulate our objection and we can also draw on the advice and help from one of Scotland’s top QCs.” The final date for responses is November 11.