Wind farm developers are threatening our quality of life

SIR, - Your recent report on the proposed wind turbine development at Reston and Ayton has a familiar ring about it.

A company from outside Berwickshire has staked out part of the county for an industrial scale wind farm. Residents indicate the negative impact this will have on the economy, welfare and amenity of the area.

The counter offer of ‘community engagement’ hints at minor concessions but leaves an air of inevitability about the damage the proposal will do.

Berwickshire needs a serious discussion of the wider policy issues involved here.

The area has already been subjected to substantial wind farm development and is threatened by several more.

Having succeeded in establishing wind farms in relatively sparsely populated areas, developers are now targeting areas with more substantial populations and thus threatening quality of life and property values in these areas.

The economy and prosperity of this area depends in a significant degree upon those settling here, either in retirement or for commuting by way of the A1 and Berwick-upon-Tweed station. Those who do so are attracted by the amenity and attractiveness of the area. They contribute to the economy in many ways which benefit the tradesmen, shopkeepers and professional services of the area.

The environmental damage done by wind farms and by the ‘salami’ tactics of the developers poses a considerable threat to the local economy and should be stopped.

Many I have spoken to are attracted by the ‘green agenda’ and see the damage done to the area as part of our sacrifice for wider objectives. The green agenda is ill served by wind farms. Their carbon footprint is substantial in terms of production, transport, construction and maintenance as well as immediate ecological damage. Their effectiveness like the wind is uncertain.

The turbines require substantial back up from conventional sources. As last winter demonstrated they are especially unsuited to this part of Scotland. Periods of cold and hence of highest demand for energy tend to coincide with slow moving high pressure weather systems which create no wind.

And THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES, notably home insulation, solar panels (now become cost effective), ground heat source and above all tidal (more reliable than wind!) power.

The Berwickshire Civic Society is an organisation where these issues can be discussed in the broad context of the environment, welfare, prosperity and heritage of the county.

The chairman, Matthew Gibb, (enquiries@berwickshirecivicsociety.com) is interested in hearing from people who wish to become members. It is important that these issues are discussed before further damage is done to the county.

R.J. MORRIS,

Primrose Hill Farm Cottages,

Preston.