A 50m meteorological mast on land at Lamberton Toll would be a “blight on the context and setting of the Scotland and England national border at Lamberton Toll”.
Scottish Borders councillor Michael Cook has made an impassioned plea to Northumberland County Council to reject a planning application for a met mast on land west of Marshall Meadows and maintain the uniqueness of the border crossing at Lamberton.
“Both south and north of the border, agencies have been active over the last decade in emphasising the uniqueness of the location, erecting new signage, interpretation boards, and six floodlit flag poles: three for Scotland bearing the Saltire, and three for England bearing the Union flag, St George’s Cross, and the Percy flag,” said Councillor Cook.
“Looking east from the lay-bys to the North Sea one would look on to a guyed tubular metal mast of 50m in height, five times the height of the flag poles.
“Those flag poles are the distinctive markers of the boundary, and intended to give the location its particular sense of ‘specialness’. To allow them to be utterly dwarved would be extraordinary, quite apart from the negative impact on the border itself.
“Such an outlook would hugely detract from the unique heritage and cultural value of the site.”
Councillor Cook accepts that because of their linear structure and temporary nature, applications for met masts are rarely refused.
“However, just as the border crossing at Lamberton Toll is unique, so are the coming together of a series of factors which weigh against this particular application,” he argues
“This is not some ordinary or commonplace site.
“The border crossing is a feature of Berwick-upon-Tweed, of Berwickshire, of 1296, Halidon Hill, 1482 and countless other battles and skirmishes, of Lamberton Kirk, and Lamberton Toll on the Great North Road. It’s claimed that this Border is the oldest fixed national boundary in the world and that its route has been marked ever since by the riding of the marches.
“The proposed mast would be highly visible from key sections of Halidon Hill, as it would from Lamberton Moor, Lamberton Kirk and the Border laybys.
“The laybys are now highly significant places with stops routine for motorists, whether to imbibe the sense of history of where two ancient kingdoms meet, or simply to have their photographs taken at what is a signal point on their journey.”
Councillor Cook’s strong views on the siting of the met mast, which he fears may be the precursor to a scoping opinion for two 80m turbines on the site, are not shared by the majority of Berwick Town Council who earlier this month voted four to two not to object to the plans by Advance Renewables.