Despite concerns regarding the risk of low frequency ‘hum’ from a large extension to an electrical sub-station near Eccles, councillors have given their approval.
The 400kV series capacitor compound, just off the A697 between Greenlaw and Coldstream, will see new bunding and planting created alongside the road to screen the site.
Objections had been raised by residents at two houses on the opposite side of the road from the proposed site, but councillors felt that the effectiveness of screening of the existing site showed that there would be little impact on the residents’ views.
However, it was revealed by the council’s planning manager, John Hayward, that Scottish Power have told the council they believed they will be unable to meet a condition which had been proposed regarding tonality of noise emanating from the site.
As a result, Mr Hayward proposed that the condition be removed, which members eventually agreed with, but with reservations. He said the development was considered of ‘national importance’.
It is understood that the sub-station helps move electricity from Scotland into the north of England, including power created by wind farms in the Berwickshire hills.
Councillor Michelle Ballantyne said: “Nobody would want anyone to live next to something like this, but we are stuck with where we are, and the sub-station is already there and with developments going on in recent years an extension is needed to it.”
It was agreed to approve the application with the relevant condition modified.
The committee was told householders would be able to take matters up with the relevant authorities should a noise nuisance materialise.