Mast gets the time to be sited at Straiton

A meteorological mast which will stand at 77m tall has been given an extended operational period by South Ayrshire Council.

The council’s regulatory panel approved the application at a meeting on Thursday January 23.

The mast is set to be situated north east to Glenhead near Straiton and is linked with the controversial Keirs Hill wind farm which if approved will see 17 turbines at a height of 149m built on the border between Patna and Straiton.

The original application for the erection of the mast was approved by the council in November 2011 and was granted an operational period of three years after which the site was due to be reinstated to the satisfaction of the planning authority.

However, the council have now agreed to give the development an extra two years despite a significant number of objections.

Objections from 28 people were received by the council relating to the application citing a number of reasons via the council’s website.

Joanna Clapton said: “The mast has been a concerning and obtrusive structure on the Sclenteuch moor for over 2 years reducing the visual amenity for residents and tourists in and around the conservation setting of Straiton. “The ‘proposed’ windfarm it related has since been moved over 2 km away and renamed Keirs Hill, therefore the mast would be providing questionable data and should be removed.”

Jeanette Heggs commented: “I understand that this mast was put in place to monitor wind speeds relevant to the proposed wind farm on the Sclenteuch Moor. Since this wind farm is no longer in the pipeline - or so we were led to believe by RES - there is no purpose for it to serve.

“Since the area of the wind farm now being proposed by RES is at Keirs Hill in East Ayrshire at 2 kms distance, I see no reason for the continuation of this mast in South Ayrshire. I would urge you to refuse this application.”

However, the council’s planning officer is confident that there is negligible or no visual amenity impact from the mast and as a result tourism assets won’t be adversely affected.

The application was approved with the condition that the use of the mast will be limited to two years upon which the meteorological mast shall be terminated and then the site shall be restored to its former condition.

This is because the land is of a temporary nature and cannot be used permanently.