Residents speak out in Barrhill wind farm row

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ANOTHER wind farm appli­cation near Barrhill has caused outrage among residents who could see turbines built only a few hundred metres from their homes.

In addition to the nearly 90 turbines already opera­ting in the countryside around Barrhill, and the additional 99 planned, Corwar wind farm will comprise eight turbines located 6km east of the village.

After community consul­tation in October the application was received by South Ayrshire Council last month. And residents say they are horrified by the intrusion they claim the turbines, if built, will cause.

By Tuesday morning the planning application, hosted on South Ayrshire Council’s website, had already attracted more than 170 comments – and those in support dwindled in single figures.

Debbie Miles, 44, faces the prospect of turbines going up just 600 metres from her home at Corwar Schoolhouse. While not opposed to wind farms generally, she said she is concerned about the potential health affects of life so close to turbines 125m in height.

With two children under 14, Mrs Miles, who bought Corwar Schoolhouse with her late husband Chris in 2000, said she moved her family to the area from Kent for a better quality of life.

Now she fears not only will that suffer, but residents will have no option of escaping due to a drop in the value of their properties.

“If it goes ahead I just can’t see a way out for ourselves and the other residents because we are just going to be trapped here,” she said.

“After everything that I went through last year with my husband, I just feel this is something that we will not be able to cope with. If Chris were still here we would be fighting it together.”

Barrhill entrepreneur Kath Miller, 67, who runs Eldrick Boarding Kennels and Cattery, says the wind farm could seriously impact on her business.

“It will mean we won’t be able to free-run some dogs in the fields ever again,” she said, for fear they will spook due to noise or blade-flicker.

“I have 20 acres just to free-run the dogs on, and that’s something that I have sold my business on for over a decade.”

But for Simon and Sarah Redman of Barr­hill’s Creeside Farm, the benefits for the local economy and funding available through com­munity benefit clauses outweigh the potential visual impact of Corwar wind farm.

“We need to get our electricity from somewhere, and nobody complains about switching on a light or plugging in the laptop,” said Mr Redman.

“In these difficult econ­omic times all forms of diversification should be allowed to be considered by the landowner. There are far worse things to have to worry about than looking at a turbine.”

A spokesman for Jersey-based Corwar wind farm developer Willowind said the company takes community concerns very seriously, and is well aware of all the pertinent issues raised.

“It is in all our interests to ensure the Corwar Mains wind farm has minimal negative impact and brings a real and lasting benefit to the local community,” he said.

Barrhill Community Council are to discuss the matter further when they meet on January 23 after a survey of residents conducted by the community council indicated 40 out of 58 respondants wanted the body to object to the application. The deadline for representations has been extended to February 1.