A BID to build an almost 125-metre-high wind turbine near Neilston has been rejected after planners warned it would have a “significant” detrimental impact on the landscape.

Officials at East Renfrewshire Council recommended the application was turned down as the “scale and design of the proposed turbine” were considered “well beyond what the local area can accommodate”.

Andy Brand, of Nether Carswell III Ltd, had applied for permission to erect the turbine on a site to the south of Nether Carswell cottage, Kingston Road, Neilston, in September 2020.

The application claimed the development was acceptable, and the visual impact would not be significant. However, councillors on the planning committee supported the view of the officials and refused to grant planning permission.

Councillor Jim McLean, Conservative, who chaired the planning committee meeting, said: “I think it’s very, very big in comparison to what we currently have there. 

“In the papers we currently have, there is no mention of any community benefit coming back from this. On these grounds, I would favour the planners’ recommendation to refuse.”

The bid to build a 125m high turbine received 20 objections, with a range of concerns including the noise and visual impact as well as the lack of community benefit from the installation.

It would have generated around 4.2MW of electric power and had an operational life of around 25 years. There are currently two turbines operating near the site: Nether Carswell I and II.

Officials reported the turbine was “of a much larger scale with a much greater rotor diameter than its fellow Nether Carswell turbines”.

They added: “The closest height to the application turbine are the existing Nether Carswell turbines I and II.

"Respectively these turbines have blade tip heights of 77m and 80m - some 33% smaller than the proposed NC III turbine.”

While planning policies encourage renewable energy development, planners said the turbine is “not in keeping with the prevailing scale of turbine development in the area”.

“This additional height and its particularly large rotor sweep results in a significantly larger active form with a resultant detrimental impact on the local landscape and aspects from local landmarks, for example Neilston Pad,” they added.

A report by officials concluded the proposal “raises significant issues when considered against the development plan”.

It said: “Principally these relate to the scale and design of the proposed turbine which is considered well beyond what the local area can accommodate without significant detrimental landscape and residential amenity impacts.”

Councillor Andrew Morrison, Conservative, said: “We know the value of renewable energy, but here we are talking about 4.2MW, which sounds a lot but in terms of the country’s energy needs, it’s actually quite small. 

“We’ve got to balance that need for renewable energy with sympathy for the amenity of the area and the environment.”

Planners said a decision on the application had been delayed from 2020 due to the ongoing consideration of a complaint regarding turbine noise from a local resident, and the lack of a consultation response from Prestwick Airport.