An updated layout of the proposed nine wind turbines at Rumbletonrig, near Greenlaw, has been on show to the public at Greenlaw and Westruther this week.
Since the beginning of the year TCI Renewables have been consulting with local and national agencies as well as the communities that will be affected by the proposed wind farm and as a result have altered the original layout, moving two of the turbines away from the historic Black Castle.
Feedback from the public exhibitions at Greenlaw on Monday and Westruther and Tuesday will be considered, as will the views of Scottish Borders Council, before a final plan is submitted by the end of the year.
Community benefits from the wind farm have been discussed between TCI and Greenlaw and Hume community Council and Westruther and Gordon Community Council; TCI estimating that around £4 million will be generated for the communities during the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm. Greenlaw and Hume will get 70 per cent of the community benefit fund and Gordon and Westruther 30 per cent if the wind farm is built, and the two community councils have the options of either a six per cent share of the profits made by TCI or a 2.5 per cent revenue share.
TCI Renewables started the public engagement process before putting in an application for a wind mast - that got planning permission in April and has been up since August - and they say that council planners see the way they have approached the planning process as the model to be applied for other wind farm developers.
An SBC spokesman clarified: “TCI Renewables has undertaken its public consultation, as required by the agreed Proposal of Application Notice (PAN), with an open and helpful attitude.
“The quality of information available appears to have been good. SBC is satisfied that the approach by TCI has been consistent with good practice relating to the PAN process.
“This does not relate to the merits, or otherwise, of the scheme, which would be considered if a formal planning application is submitted.”
As well as the promised community benefits, TCI are also setting aside £40,000 for Borders College based training programmes, and a further £150,000 for a 3G football pitch, and they have entered into Memoranda of Understanding on each
Not everyone is on side, however, and local action group AGHAST are challenging TCI’s plans for the Greenlaw area.