Wind farm appeal

E.ON is to appeal against the refusal of Midlothian Council to grant planning permission for a 45MW wind farm at Auchencorth Moss, Scotland.



The initial planning application for the construction of 18 wind turbines on the site south of Penicuik was submitted in January 2006 and refused in February this year.



Speaking in February, Derek Milligan, chair of the committee that considered E.ON’s application, said: ‘We have tried to balance the undoubted need for more renewable energy sources against the serious detrimental impact that the development would have had on the local environment.



‘In this case we decided that the harmful effects of allowing the development to go ahead would outweigh the benefits. The case was judged on its merits in line with approved national planning policy, and in accordance with Midlothian’s Development Plan.’



E.ON claims the proposed scheme would provide enough energy for up to 24,000 homes and save over 43,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.



Darren Cuming, onshore origination manager at E.ON, said: ‘We have carried out a series of independent reviews following the council’s comments, including a further detailed environmental assessment of the site. We are now satisfied that our proposal will comply with Scottish government and Local Plan policy, with minimal impact on the environment and the local population.’



If approval is granted by Midlothian Council, E.ON further claims that the area could expect to see a £5m investment into the local and regional economies. The project would also contribute toward the Scottish government’s strategy to generate 40 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.



The appeal is expected to go to a public inquiry with the outcome announced towards the end of next year.