A substantial solar farm project, equivalent in size to 120 football pitches, has received the green light for development near Borgue.
The renewable energy initiative, situated at High Nunton Farm, has stirred a divided response within the local community and narrowly secured approval recently following a close vote.
The planning application for the project was presented to the Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning committee, where councillors themselves were split in their opinions regarding its approval.
The proposal, submitted by landowner Robert Maitland, outlines the installation of nearly 45,000 solar panels on metal arrays, accompanied by a battery storage facility designed to store renewable energy. This extensive development will occupy a 49-hectare section of agricultural land.
In addition to the solar panels and storage facility, the project includes various auxiliary components, such as an energy storage container, a communication cabin with a tower, a customer substation, a temporary works compound, security fencing, and CCTV cameras mounted on three-meter-high poles.
The council received a total of 27 objections to the proposal, primarily from residents residing in Borgue. However, 29 individuals from various addresses within the region, as well as from London, Liverpool, and Edinburgh, voiced their support for the project through written letters.
During last week’s pivotal planning committee meeting, a number of concerned residents attended in person to express their views in the hopes of influencing the councillors’ decision-making process.
Ultimately, the vote among councillors resulted in a 9-9 tie, with two councillors opting to abstain from voting. In this deadlock, Committee Chairman Councillor Jim Dempster exercised his casting vote, ultimately leading to the approval of the application.