Bid made to halt wind farms

Crystal Rig wind farm was the largest in Scotland when it became operational ten years ago.
Crystal Rig wind farm was the largest in Scotland when it became operational ten years ago.

A short-term halt to wind farm developments in the Borders is being called for until the impact of existing schemes is fully understood.

Lammermuir Community Council has requested that Scottish ministers consider the moratorium on new large-scale wind developments affecting the region and has asked for support from all the Borders community councils.

There are now 336 large-scale turbines operating in the Scottish Borders. Another 111 have consent, and 255 are at the application stage or awaiting determination. There are many more scoping proposals. Some community councils have to respond to as many as five large scale schemes simultaneously.

“The numbers change almost weekly and the impact of turbines across much of the Scottish Borders landscape is increasingly inescapable,” said Logan Inglis, Scottish Borders Community Council Network chairman when he wrote to all community councils.

Lammermuir Community Council chairman Mark Rowley is leading the campaign.

He said: “We invite all community councils across the Scottish Borders and other concerned bodies to join our request that Scottish ministers grant a short-term moratorium on determining further windfarm development, until existing schemes have been determined and the true impacts on the Scottish Borders can be properly understood.

“The Scottish Borders faces a unique set of circumstances with the withdrawal of the Eskdalemuir Seismological constraint coinciding with the introduction of Wild Land status for 19.5% of Scotland’s landmass (a designation largely denied to the Borders).

“The large extent of existing wind development now subject to extension proposals, a significant number of unbuilt-but-consented schemes and ministers now insisting that Special Landscape Areas are ‘likely to be acceptable’ areas for wind farm development have created a unique situation for the Scottish Borders.

Mr Rowley concluded: “That unique situation requires proper assessment by all involved. Only a short-term halt will allow that.”