Bid to revive windfarm plans

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Plans to build a new windfarm in Newton Mearns could be revived by Scottish ministers.

Moorhouse Windfarm Ltd had an application for six turbines, between Shieldhill Farm and Moor Road, rejected after aviation chiefs claimed they could lose track of planes over the site.

East Renfrewshire Council knocked back the plans when the National Air Traffic Service claimed a windfarm could interfere with their radars in Glasgow and Cumbernauld.

But the company has made an appeal to the Scottish Government in a bid to overturn that decision.

A statement to Scottish ministers said: “The proposed development will make a valuable contribution to the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, and its above average efficiency will allow it to operate subsidy free whilst giving rise to relatively limited impacts for a commercial scale windfarm.

“It has a compact and cohesive design located in a plateau moorland landscape which is well-suited to wind turbines.

“Scottish Natural Heritage consider the landscape and visual impacts are not particularly significant.

“Any remaining concerns, including aviation, can be properly addressed through the imposition of conditions.”

The company has been in talks with Glasgow Airport bosses to ease concerns about planes slipping off the radar.

And two new condition proposals have been submitted to the Scottish Government to try and overturn East Renfrewshire Council’s refusal.

The first condition is that a radar mitigation scheme will be implemented to help air traffic controllers keep track of planes near the site.

The second will be that the turbines won’t be installed until the radar mitigation scheme is approved in writing between the company, Glasgow Airport and East Renfrewshire Council.

In March this year East Renfrewshire’s Provost, Jim Fletcher, described the potential impact on NATS systems as “worrying”.

But Conservative group leader Stewart Miller claimed that “everything is positive” about the windfarm, insisting that the council and the community would make money from it.

The application for the windfarm has been in the pipeline for more than three years, with a series of delays preventing the planning committee from making a decision until March.

And before that decision was made, Coriolos Energy, acting on behalf of Moorhouse Windfarm, asked for a delay until an aviation impact report was completed.

Fourteen consultation responses were received asking for councillors to reject the plans, with East Ayrshire Council saying that residents near the Whitelee, and proposed Glenouther and Blair sites would become “encircled by windfarms”.

In 2014, a proposal for 19 turbines on the site was rejected by the council and then dismissed by Scottish ministers.