Islanders are planning to rally ‘in defence of democracy after learning that developers are appealing a decision to block a 15-hectare solar farm at a local beauty spot.  

Hundreds of people living on the island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde objected to a plan by energy company Comsol to install 12,000 solar panels and accompanying battery energy storage systems. 

The plan was rejected by councillors at Ayrshire council despite being recommended by planning authorities — but is now back on the table after the company launched an appeal with the Scottish Government.  

READ MORE: Cumbrae islanders fear solar farm concerns going ignored

Residents on the island, which is home to just over 1,000 people, argue it would be disastrous to the local economy and wildlife. 

The proposed farm would be adjacent to the Glaid Stone viewpoint and the highest site on the island. It is used by residents for picnics and as a local beauty spot.  

It also lies within the Great Cumbrae Special Landscape Area and the Barbay Hill Local Nature Conservation Site. 

The Herald:

The area of the proposed solar farm 

Alex Harvie, Chair, of Cumbrae Community Council, said that Comsol were hoping to appeal on technical grounds, which he argued had already been covered during the initial planning process.  

Mr Harvie said: "One of the main reasons given for making the appeal is that the councillors did not consider the technical details of the proposal properly.  

“Comsol have made this charge knowing full well that the discussion at the Planning Committee, which involved a team of their representatives, covered the proposal and relevant policy in great detail. 

READ MORE: Cumbrae solar farm plans could be accepted despite concerns

“Comsol’s appeal means that a democratically-made decision is being challenged for commercial gain, along with the competency of Councillors in local government planning decisions.” 

He added: “We feel there is a common cause at issue, defending democracy, and we are now planning a rally on the island in September.” 

Comsol have been contacted for comment.