Green light for Eyemouth harbour plans

Plans for a new Eyemouth ‘operations and maintenance base’ for an offshore wind farm have been approved by Scottish Borders Council.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 4:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 4:08 pm
An artist’s impression of how the new NnG operations and maintenance building will fit in at Eyemouth Harbour

Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) Offshore Wind Limited and Eyemouth Harbour Trust have had plans approved for a three-storey, 1060 metre-squared office building, to be situated at Eyemouth’s deep water harbour.

The investment will bring an economic boost to the area providing up to 50 permanent jobs over the 25-year lifespan of the project.

Additional benefits would see training, retraining and apprenticeship opportunities available to the residents of Eyemouth and the surrounding area.

Concerns were raised by scuba diving enthusiasts, who currently have unobstructed access to the harbour, which sparked 20 objections.

One objector, Andrew Sinclair from Glasgow, wrote: “I would like you to consider keeping access for scuba divers to be able to access one of the best dive sites in the east of Scotland.

“Divers from all over the UK travel to Eyemouth and if this dive site becomes unavailable it is my opinion that local businesses will be worse off financially.”

At the planning and building standards committee a condition was added that no development shall commence until a scheme for the rerouting of the dive site access road has been approved in writing by the council”.

Councillors spoke favourably about the development, with Hawick councillor Clair Ramage telling the meeting: “This is a well thought out submission, I feel that the contemporary building will enhance the area, my only concern was about the diving road, but obviously that’s been covered.

Galashiels councillor Andy Anderson said: “I did consider the effect on the view, but the designs I’ve seen of the views of the harbour have made me feel better about that.

Hawick councillor Neil Richards added: “This is very well thought out, it’s looking like it’s future-proofing for Eyemouth.”

NnG will supply enough low carbon electricity for around 375,000 homes and will offset over 400,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions each year.

Project director Matthias Haag said: “Having worked so closely with the Eyemouth Harbour Trust on the details of this proposal I am very pleased the council has approved the plans.

“We need an operations and maintenance base for the 25-year lifespan of NnG which brings with it fantastic socio-economic benefits for the town of Eyemouth and the local community.”

Christine Bell, Eyemouth Harbour Trust business manager, added: “This decision is warmly welcomed by Eyemouth Harbour Trust, it’s another positive and significant step towards regeneration opportunities being realised in Eyemouth.”