Ruined – this iconic view of Straiton

View of Straiton with Monument

It is with great sadness that we have to report the Judicial Review into Dersalloch will not go ahead. Mark Gibson of Craigengillan (with the support of East Ayrshire Council) had done everything possible to bring one about but sadly a judge ruled that he would not allow his expenses to be capped. This would mean ScottishPower Renewables could extract their costs from him which may have been many thousands of pounds. They, ScottishPower Renewables, were represented by no less than four QCs.

It would appear to us that the Government have not followed their own Planning procedures whereby if the local council object to a development a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) is held. Both South and East Ayrshire Councils objected, along with 4,723 individuals. The high-handed way the Ministers have dealt with this, ignoring local communities, disregarding the Landscape Capacity Study and, of course, announcing the decision to approve without a PLI on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games so it would not receive any media attention, leave a very unpleasant taste.

A Public Local Inquiry would have been the fairest way to proceed; all parties could have voiced their concerns openly. Since the original application there have been significant changes with the formation of the Dark Sky Park, the South Ayrshire Landscape Capacity Study, a new Local Development Plan has been adopted and ospreys are now established at Loch Doon to name just some.

The construction of Dersalloch is by a foreign company, installing German made and serviced turbines and using a construction firm from southern Ireland so there would be very little local, or even national, economic benefit.

We have always believed that following the Planning guidelines and working with the system, although not perfect, is the best way to protect our area from inappropriate developments. This is a clear case of inappropriate development. We must hope that the Scottish Government stop overruling local communities and local democracy and that such a travesty of justice is not repeated yet again.

14 thoughts on “Ruined – this iconic view of Straiton

  1. So sorry to hear this news – disgraceful that 4,723 voices appear to count for nothing! With no cap on expenses how can the Scottish public afford to take any serious concerns forward – so much for community empowerment.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Hardly a vote winning decision for the government is it, makes you wonder which planet these people live on, presumably one where residents, locals etc do not matter, always comes back to money, pure and simple greed.
    Heaven help us if the same decision is made in the same manner with total disregard to local feeling on the rest of the planned farms!!
    Is it really worth voting for anyone in May, I am beginning to doubt it

  3. So sorry to read this news, though not unexpected, given the formidable opposition you faced and this SNP government’s determination to plaster the entire countryside with these inefficient monstrosities. The new slogan for Scotland should be “Land of Bens and Glens and Wind Farms”

  4. Although no longer resident in Ayrshire, Prestwick and later Maidens I find this situation totally unacceptable. For any government to ignore 2 Councils and 4,723 objectors to any proposal is wrong. This is not the only case where Scottish ministers have rejected local community objections to wind farm applications and with obvious complete disregard for their own policies.
    Scottish Planning Policy (2014) paragraphs 169 and 170 are examples. This situation makes a mockery of democracy especially from a political party, now forming the government in Scotland, who claim that they want a “fairer Scotland”. The Scottish government are paying lip service to their own policies: but it does tick a box. Their box.

  5. I am very sorry to hear this news about Dersalloch.
    I suppose that both Councils must feel slighted – are they as Councils able to take it any further ? Eg demanding a PLI.

    • It was reported in the press that sources say East Ayrshire Council had been ‘warned off’ and subsequently they withdrew their petition for a Judicial Review at the very last minute. They gave Mark Gibson all the support and assistance they could. South Ayrshire objected to the proposal and strongly deny claims by the Government that they did not respond in time. A PLI would have the right and proper way to proceed and it is totally perplexing why this did not happen. We are all deeply disappointed and angry at the way this has been mis-handled.

      • Thanks for the reply. Very interesting. I would like to encourage you not to give up on a Judicial Review of the decision not to hold a Public Local Inquiry. 30 years ago, I was lucky enough to have had success with a Judicial Review of a local Council decision – see the first page of the attached. The test of “unreasonableness” is high, but can be won. I had an amazing QC who gave his time without charge- Anthony Lester (now Lord Lester). I did not know him previously, but other people put me in touch with him, and he and another QC did a fantastic job of building the case. This was before the Freedom of Information Act. We requested guarantees in case of having to pay the other side’s costs – thankfully we never had to redeem those guarantees. I mention it because it might be a model for your campaign. https://www.cfoi.org.uk/pdf/SecretsNewspaperNo4.pdf Good luck with the fight. David Gamper Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:44:39 +0000 To: david_gamper@hotmail.com

      • Thank you so much for this, it is very encouraging and it is heartening to know that the seemingly impossible can be possible. Let us hope fairness and justice will prevail, something the UK is supposed to be rather good at.

  6. Also does not help when there are community council groups formed to look at how best to spend the “funds” rather than devoting their time to halting the destruction of our landscape.

    • The two Community Councils nearest to this development is Crosshill, Straiton & Kirkmichael CC and Dalmellington CC. Both are strongly opposed to this wind farm and have been dismayed by this decision.

      • And Crosshill has certainly had at least one meeting already looking at how best to allocate funds from the windfarms, they also had a letter in the shop advocating support for such developments citing benefits for the area.
        Sadly there will always be some in the area who only see the £ signs

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