This page is a source for the links and materials needed to understand the planning procedure and to make rational objections, based on planning law as it stands, to the proposed wind farms. It is an ongoing project, and comments are welcome. For detailed information on individual wind farms, please go to their individual pages on this site: Knockcronal, Craiginmoddie, Sclenteuch, Knockkippen, Carrick, Clauchrie and Knockodhar
- Info in brief on wind farm applications in the area
- A composite map of wind farms
- Key documents which are used by the planning authorities in assessing wind farm applications
- Information on the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere
- Information on the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park
- Information and links about archaeological sites
Wind farms are now planned almost all around Straiton and the surrounding communities.
- Knockcronal about 4km south of Straiton, 9 turbines, 6 at 200m and 3 at 180m high, it’s located up the Girvan valley on Knockcronal and Halfmark Rig. A planning application has been made, deadline for representations is 2 February 2022. Developer is Statkraft.
- Sclenteuch between Straiton, Kirkmichael and Waterside. 9 turbines at 180m and 200m high. Currently in scoping, application expected in spring 2022. Developer is RES Group. Ref ECU00003318.
- Craiginmoddie near Dailly, Barr and Crosshill. 14 turbines 200m high. A planning application has been made. Deadline for representations is 13 December although an extension is possible, email Enegry Consents Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website www.energyconsents.scot and request and extension if you require it. Developer is EnergieKontor. Ref ECU00002196.
- Knockkippen near Waterside in the Doon Valley. 12 turbines at 180m high. Currently in scoping. Developer is Naturalis Energy Developments Ltd. Ref ECU00003322
- Carrick in the Galloway Forest Park, south of Knockcronal. 17 turbines up to 200m high. Currently in scoping. Developer is ScottishPower Renewables. Ref ECU00002063
- Clauchrie again this is in the Galloway Forest Park. A public inquiry has taken place and the Reporter is preparing his recommendations. Developer is ScottishPower Renewables.
- Knockodhar south of Barr. 32 turbines up to 200m high. Currently in scoping. Developer is REG Knockodhar Limited. Ref ECU00002153.
This rest of the information on this page is currently being updated. Please check back later.
Not so much a key document as an interesting one.
Vital document used for assessing land use and suitability for wind farms. Much complex information. One point of interest: the Stinchar valley is listed in this document as of National significance and high value. The proposed Knockcronal site would be clearly visible from the tracks which border the upper Stinchar valley. Perhaps also from the lower valley towards Barr.
People are often concerned that wind farms might be too close to houses. There are no statutory limits in the UK. This document prepared for MPs at Westminster explains the planning guidance in different parts of the UK, with the different likely effects on the distance from housing. It should be noted that in Scotland there is a presumption (not binding but recommended) that windfarms should not be developed within 2Km of settlements (including villages). It should also very important to note that not only Straiton itself but the clusters of houses up the Girvan valley as far as Tairlaw are considered by Ayrshire planning as part of a settlement, and so entitled to the protection of a 2Km buffer.
KEY DOCUMENT XII: The economic impact of wind farms on Scottish tourism (click to download)
This report was commissioned by the Scottish Government from the tourism unit at Glasgow Caledonian University. It is a long, thorough and complex report. The Scottish Government has briefed the press that the report shows that Wind farms have no effect on Scottish tourism. This seems to me to be a mis-representation. Careful reading of the document shows that the situation is complex. But the authors point out that the developments that they consider had already been screened by existing planning laws so that a negative effect on tourism was prevented. In other words, permission had not been granted for wind farms in sensitive tourist areas, and those that were NOT in sensitive tourist areas did not have a detrimental effect on tourism. This may seem self-evident, but it is a very important point, emphasised several times within the document: and it essentially negates any broad claim that there is no effect on tourism.
“There is often strong hostility to developments at the planning stage on the
grounds of the scenic impact and the knock on effect on tourism. However
the most sensitive of these do not appear to have been given approval so
that where negative impacts on tourism might have been a real outcome
there is, in practice, no evidence of a negative effect.”
Scottish government survey on impact of windfarms on tourism, p67
It also states (p17)
“The research suggests that there is a need to make clearer to the general
public that in some “scenic/wilderness” areas they will not see large
commercial wind farms and that some other areas are positively marketed as
green centres of renewable energy. In this context it should be noted that this
research suggests that a few very large farms are better than a large number
of small farms. A number of medium size farms dispersed in a relatively small
area so that they become contiguous, is also not desirable. The current policy
on cumulative effects should thus be maintained.”
The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere has now been officially recognised by UNESCO. You will find details of it on the biosphere website and on UNESCO’s website. Below is a sketch map of the Biosphere from the Biosphere website. It shows that the upper Girvan valley down to just below Tairlaw (where it changes course) lies inside the “buffer” zone of the biosphere, which is conceived as “protecting the biospheres”. This buffer zone would have implications for two of the windfarms planned near Straiton.
The Galloway Forest Dark Sky park is recognised nationally and locally as a tourist asset. The map below shows the extent of both the Dark Sky Park and its (vital) buffer zone. The boundary of the buffer zone is contiguous with the southern edge of the Knockcronal windfarm.
A useful site for finding out about the many archaeological sites around Straiton and district is the West of Scotland Archaeological Service, which has a searchable database. A search for “Straiton” lists 256 separate sites. You could also try the database at Scotland’s Places which is sponsored by a number of major Scottish institutions. See the jpg below for an image of archaeological sites in the area, as mapped by the Ayrshire Joint Planning Steering Group. Archaeological sites are the faint orangey-pink blobs. There is a large number in the area of the proposed Linfairn windfarm: click here to see the detailed archaeological site information on the Linfairn page.