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Kilgallioch wind farm scheme approved

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The Scottish government has approved plans for a 96-turbine wind farm on the border between Dumfries and Galloway and South Ayrshire.

It said Scottish Power Renewables' Kilgallioch project near New Luce could meet the energy needs of more than 130,000 homes.

The consent carries a number of conditions to protect the environment.

The construction of the wind farm will create about 200 jobs with 13 full-time posts once it is up and running.

The developers will also fund the employment of two countryside rangers for the "promotion, payment and management" of the Southern Upland Way over the 25 years the wind farm is operational.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "The Kilgallioch wind farm will create jobs both in its construction and during its lifetime, as well as having the capacity to supply more than 130,000 homes with renewable electricity.

"The developers will fund two countryside rangers to help people enjoy the beautiful Southern Upland Way, as well as contributing to a fund for local environmental and energy projects.

"In consenting the application, I have put a number of conditions in place to protect the local wildlife and environment and recognise that measures have been taken to mitigate the impact of the development."

The initial application for the site was for 132 turbines.

Dumfries and Galloway Council was advised by planning officers last year to "reluctantly" accept the plans.

Officials said decisions by the Scottish government on nearby developments had "undermined" its stance on wind farm developments.

South Ayrshire Council was also advised by its officers that there were insufficient grounds to oppose the scheme.