SCOTTISH Ministers have refused planning permission for a windfarm just north of New Cumnock.

The application for six turbines on land at Garleffan had previously been knocked back by East Ayrshire Council in 2016.

Following an appeal by the developers, Peel Windfarms, the matter was referred to the Scottish Government who have made their ruling.

In the report by Lorna McCallum, an explanation is given on how and why the proposal was refused, referring to what economic benefits the windfarm may or may not bring.

A number of scattered residential properties are near the site, which comprises agricultural land and part of two former surface coal mines.

Mrs McCallum said there would be ‘some socio economic benefits as a result of the development but jobs generated over the lifetime of the development would be fairly limited’.

There were also differing viewpoints on the landscape and visual assessment, which the developers claimed would be confined to within 2km (1.4 miles) of the turbines.

However, the council said that the significant adverse impacts on landscape character had been understated and would extend to 5km (3.2 miles).

Another issue was uncertainty over a possible shared ownership scheme which Mrs McCallum said was not guaranteed.

“I note that the appellants have offered the community an ownership share equivalent to up to a third of a turbine.

“However this does not form part of the unilateral agreement proposed and no details have been provided of any intended community investment that would be derived.

“It is quite clear from Scottish Government guidance that although such contributions are supported they are voluntary and are not a material planning consideration,” she said.

Her conclusion was: “The development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the local development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission.”