Scottish Borders Councillors withdraw opposition to wind farm

Monday April 24th 2023


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

Councillors voted by a narrow majority today to withdraw its opposition to a Borders wind farm.

The local authority originally objected to the scheme in Cloich Forest near Eddleston in 2014.

However, work on the scheme – which was subsequently approved by the Scottish government – has never started.

Revised plans have now been submitted and members of the council’s Planning and Building and Standards committee voted by six votes to three in support of an officer’s recommendation not to object to the revised application – on condition that one turbine is lowered in height to reduce its visual impact.

The proposals have a lengthy planning history.

In 2012, the Ministry of Defence opposed 18-turbine plans amid fears of their impact on its seismic monitoring station at Eskdalemuir.

Two years later Scottish Borders Council decided to object as well due to concerns over landscape impact.

At the meeting, Mid-Berwickshire’s councillor Donald Moffat said: “I think this fits in pretty well. If you are going to have a wind farm you’re going to have to see something and I don’t think what is being proposed in front of us today is any worse, in fact I think it is better than the original appliation that was approved. I don’t think this has as bad adverse effects as what the original wind farm may have had.”

Tweeddale East’s councillor Marshall Douglas opposed the development, saying: “Just because our previous decision was overturned by the reporter doesn’t mean we can’t have a relook at it. It shouldn’t be a case of putting turbines there at any cost, if that does impact the archaeology, the water supply and all the other problems we’ve heard about without a great deal more investigations. I would be minded to go against the recommendation.”

Councillor Sandy Scott, for Jedburgh & District, said: “Most of my doubts were answered on the site visit. I would just remind people that we are only consultees in this. We can have an opinion but the decision will be made elsewhere, so on balance I will go along with the officer’s recommendation.”

Hawick & Hermitage’s Councillor Jane Cox added: “I think we should approve this. I was concerned about the private water supplies but Sepa has removed their objections. I think we need to have more renewable energy.”

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