ERG and their development partner Burcote Wind have submitted an appeal to the Scottish Government following the refusal of Longburn Wind Farm by Dumfries and Galloway Council in August this year.
The proposed development is located approximately 6km due east of Carsphairn and consists of ten turbines. Each turbine would have a blade tip height of 134m and a capacity of up to 2.3MW, giving the development a total capacity of up to 23MW.
The Longburn application received no objections from statutory consultees such as SNH, SEPA and Historic Environment Scotland. The application was however recommended for refusal by Council Planners on the grounds of adverse landscape and visual and historic environment effects.
The developers behind the appeal, ERG, a major Italian renewable investor, and their partners, Burcote Wind, have been working on the project for several years. Despite changes in domestic market conditions, the project would have been built out, had it received consent from Dumfries and Galloway Council.
As part of the application the developers are making a wide ranging offer to the local communities, including a shared community ownership offer of up to 5% of the annual revenue of the development and a community benefit fund of up to £115,000 per annum, or up to £2.875m over the lifetime of the project.
In addition to this, ERG and Burcote Wind had committed to a preferential local procurement policy which will provide Dumfries & Galloway based companies with a 5% price advantage when tendering for contracts on the wind farm.
Sergio Chiericoni, Chief Business Development Officer at ERG said:
“We are confident in this project. Our initial application received no objections from statutory consultees outwith the Council’s internal Landscape Architect and Archeologist. We have worked closely with the Council and consultees for the last five years to ensure that we brought forward an application that was both sensitively designed and located, and one which addressed previous issues on the site.
“Our appeal offers a second opportunity for the local communities around the development who would have benefited from both our Community Benefit and Community Ownership models, as well as the wider region, in particular local companies who could have benefited from our unique local procurement policy.”
Local Resident, Nigel Spencer said:
“I am pleased that ERG and Burcote are appealing the disappointing decision by the Council not to approve the application. This is a great opportunity to provide significant and much needed economic benefit for the local community, that otherwise would not be possible. This project gained support from those that live in the Stewartry area, within 10km of the site, and recognise the benefit the development would have brought to the locality, whilst a significant number of the objectors came from outwith the area and indeed outwith Scotland, and do not represent the balance of opinion locally.”