Council turns down Howpark wind farm application

It is expected the wind farm plans will generate up to �1.2bn for the Scottish economy.
It is expected the wind farm plans will generate up to �1.2bn for the Scottish economy.

Eastern Berwickshire is at saturation point when it comes to accommodating wind farms.

That is the message that Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee will again send to the Scottish Government after it unanimously agreed to reject a bid for eight 100m-high turbines near Howpark farmhouse, a mile from Grantshouse and three miles from Coldingham.

The site is a wind farm hotspot, with 22 turbines currently generating power at Drone Hill to the north east and 14 turbines under construction at Penmanshiel to the west. Within a radius of eight miles of Howpark are eight more wind farms either already operating or given consent.

Despite that proliferation and objections from 24 local addresses, the application, from Farningham Planning, had been recommended for approval by the local planning officer, Scott Shearer.

“All environmental disbenefits attributed to this proposal have been thoroughly assessed against the impacts of established wind farm developments in this location,” wrote Mr Shearer.

The committee had continued consideration of the application to get more information on the impact of noise generated by the turbines.

Environmental health officer David Brown confirmed that the expected noise at around 35 decibels during operation was in line with national guidelines.

The planning committee had previously rejected the Drone Hill and Penmanshiel applications on the grounds that the area was at saturation point for wind farms, but both were approved on appeal by Scottish Government reporters.

Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne took that as a challenge, saying: “These reporters have made it clear they do not care what we think. The day we start rolling over is the day we should all go home.”