Blackburn turbine proposal turned down

Volkswind UK Ltd have had their plans for a six-turbine wind farm at Blackburn, near Grantshouse, knocked back.

The same government reporter who approved the 14 turbines at Penmanshiel, took the opposite view at Blackburn, deciding that the 126.5m turbines in a lower lying and more agricultural area would “lead to a landscape dominated by wind farms, with a pattern of development bearing little relationship to landscape character”.

Reporter Scott Ferris said: “I find that the Blackburn scheme would tend to fill the landscape and visual ‘space’ between Drone Hill on the coastal moorland to the east, and the Crystal Rig/Aikengall cluster in the Lammermuir Hills to the west.

“That would be the case notwithstanding my separate decision in the Penmanshiel appeal, or the recent approval of the Quixwood wind farm to the south.

“The latter (Quixwood) approval makes it imperative however, that permission is withheld for a scheme of the scale proposed at this location.”

Dismissing the appeal against Scottish Borders Council’s decision in August 2012 to refuse planning permission for the wind farm, Mr Ferris went on: “I found existing wind farms to be a recurring feature from many viewpoints and when travelling around the east Berwickshire area.

“I find that the addition of this proposal would, at the very least, result in an area which could be said to be ‘landscape with wind farms’, extending from the Lammermuirs almost to the coast.

“Scottish Planning Policy states that the development of wind farms should be supported “in locations where the technology can operate efficiently and environmental and cumulative impacts can be satisfactorily addressed. I do not find that to be the case here.”