Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Shock Berryhill solar decision: Angus farmer promises to fight on as residents rejoice

Doug Scott near Berryhill Farm.
Doug Scott near Berryhill Farm.

Retiree Doug Scott is delighted Angus councillors have rejected plans to build a massive solar farm next to his home.

Doug’s house overlooks Berryhill Farm.

The retired customer service worker was one of the first residents to speak out against the plans.

He said: “It would have opened the floodgates for further developments like this.

“It’s a great relief that common sense prevailed for protecting arable land in Scotland.”

Doug thinks using arable land for anything other than growing food is a waste.

He added: “In a supermarket you can buy a pineapple from across the world for cheaper than you can get a turnip grown in Scotland.

“The whole system is upside down.”

Applicant Solar 2 Ltd hoped to have built 152,000 solar panels on the site. They claim it would have provided renewable power for 12,500 homes.

Residents feared the huge solar array was a done deal after planners recommended that councillors approve the scheme.

But in a shock decision – which one councillor described as the most difficult in his 20 year career – they rejected the plans.

How has landowner William Moncreiff responded to the decision?

Landowner William Moncrieff remains convinced a solar farm is the right use for the land.

His latest application is the third time the farmer has made moves to have a solar farm built on his land.

However, the preceding two attempts did not reach this stage.

He is dismayed that emotion seemingly played a factor in the decision.

William said: “There was some emotional pleas from some residents and that seems to have swayed the councillors, rather than the benefits of bringing clean energy to thousands of homes.”

The farmer has come out fighting, questioning why some residents chose to live in the area.

He added: “It’s been a matter of public record for seven years that I have wanted to bring a solar farm here. Some of the people making their emotional pleas have lived in the area shorter than that.

“Why did they buy their house here in the first place?

“Some of them are saying it’s a beautiful place to live, but that’s only because I’ve made it a beautiful place. It was a bog before I started working the land.”

William said the land’s uneven and steep nature makes it “very difficult” to use for traditional farming.

“I feel a solar array is the right use for my land.”

Will Solar 2 appeal?

Neil Lindsay, development director of application Solar 2 Ltd, said he was “very disappointed” with the decision.

“We still believe it is a very good site for a solar farm.

“It’s a shame the decision was based on emotion and was not a factual one. The planning officers recommended it for approval.”

But Neil remained tight-lipped in the aftermath of the meeting on whether his team will appeal the decision.

He added: “We are assessing our position at the moment before going forward”.

‘An anxious year’

Residents joined forces to form the campaign group Spare (Save and Protect Angus Rural Environment) last year to fight the plans.

A spokesman for the group said: “The proposal meant an anxious year for many in the community.

“The massive proposal was wholly wrong for its location and would have had long lasting, negative implications for the local area.

“This was a matter of local, regional and national importance with possible implications for the whole country.”

William Moncrieff’s long struggle to transform his land into one of Scotland’s largest solar farms

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]