Scottish wind farm receives planning permission with SgurrEnergy support

The 20MW Gass wind farm, located in Dumfries and Galloway, was granted full planning permission at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Planning Committee meeting on 26 August 2015 following a recommendation for approval by the Planning Officer. The project is being developed by WilloWind Energy Ltd and leading renewable energy consultancy, SgurrEnergy, has provided full planning and environmental consultancy support.

255-Onshore12SgurrEnergy’s Environmental Team managed the application process for WillowWind over a four year period, from initial site design, wind measurement and on-site survey work through to the submission of a comprehensive planning application, including a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Over those four years, the Glasgow-based company navigated numerous challenges and planning requirements, including managing the impact of the project on the landscape and surrounding properties, avoiding impact on protected sites and habitats, as well as minimising residential amenity issues, in particular, the impact of the cumulative noise of this specific wind farm and other nearby developments.

In addition, SgurrEnergy, a Wood Group company, delivered a series of habitat improvement commitments which should see the restoration of large areas of blanket bog, a habitat which has seen significant decline across the UK.

Having overcome these planning challenges, the future of the project looks bright. Once operational, the wind farm is set to make a valuable contribution to the UK renewable energy targets, and importantly, is set to bring significant support to the local community through community benefit payments.

SgurrEnergy’s Greg McAlister, Environment Team Leader, said: “This decision shows that even in what has become a challenging environment for UK renewables, there are still opportunities for success if projects are developed in the right place and sympathetic to the needs of local communities and stakeholders.

With that in mind, we are delighted to have taken this application to successful approval. The four year process was a result of excellent planning and preparation by the whole SgurrEnergy team, and in particular the support of Project Manager, Suzy Yendell. Suzy has ensured that the development of Gass wind farm has been carried out in the spirit of Council policy and guidance and, as a result, the Council was able to support it.”Suki Atwal, a Director of WilloWind Energy, said: “WilloWind Energy are delighted that the combined efforts of our team and the strong technical support from SgurrEnergy have resulted in the Gass Wind Farm site being granted consent at the Dumfries and Galloway Council Planning Committee.”

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