A wind farm development near Sanquhar "has ground to a halt ", according to the company behind the plans - just weeks after the project was given the green light.

Community Windpower Ltd (CWL) says the Sanquhar II development - 'SQ II' - will not be going ahead as things stand - and has blamed, at least in part, a 'windfall tax' on new renewable energy developments.

The company says the project was originally expected to cost £300 million - but that this figure has now risen to £500m.

Scottish ministers gave final approval to the Upper Nithsdale project in late August.

CWL was given the go-ahead for the development on the border of Dumfries and Galloway and East Ayrshire, some 6.5km south-west of Sanquhar itself - despite a government reporter finding that there would be "significant localised landscape and visual impacts".

READ MORE: Sanquhar II plans get green light after inquiry

However, CWL have now said that the wind farm, which would have been the UK’s 4th largest onshore project with 44 turbines, will not being going ahead at present.

The company say that part of the reason is "as a consequence of the unfair 'windfall tax' on New Renewable power plants."

Civil engineering work was due to start next year with the first power generated by the wind farm scheduled for the summer of 2025.

A CWL spokesperson says said: "SQ II was projected to cost around £300 million, however infrastructure costs have been hit with a triple whammy of extreme inflation, a four-fold increase in interest costs, and a weak pound.

READ MORE: Nearly 9,000 East Ayrshire kids being supported by ScotGov grant payments

"Costs now exceed £500m which remains cheaper than gas-fired electricity – however strangely polluting gas generators are exempt from “windfall tax”.

"Sanquhar II would have supported more than 200 jobs, powered 350,000 homes with green electricity and saved 22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its 40-year life."

Rod Wood, managing director at Community Windpower, added : “We’ve run the financial models.

"We cannot get the return on capital that we need to cover the bank requirements for financing."

The company’s existing Sanquhar community wind farm – comprising nine turbines – was commissioned in 2018 and is capable of generating 32.4MW (megawatts) of electricity.

By contrast, the new, much larger, development would have a generating capacity of 300MW.