Corsbie Moor wind farm public hearing imminent

Southern Upland Way sign.
Southern Upland Way sign.

An appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission for a nine turbine wind farm at Corsbie Moor, near Gordon, starts on Monday.

The run up to the appeal, however, has not gone smoothly and objectors have complained that the applicants E.On have put forward new environmental information that will be presented at the appeal without community councils having been given access to that additional document.

The environmental information relates to updated information about the cumulative impact of the nine 126.5m turbines on the landscape and while the applicants acknowledge that there are some differences from their initial environmental submission “it is not considered that these changes would affect or alter the conclusions or the assessment set out”.

Mark Rowley of Ellemford, Cranshaws and Longformacus Community Council said: “The appellants have sought to put new and complex visual environmental information out in support of their case, it seems only just that they should ensure that all concerned have full access to it as far ahead of the hearing as possible? I invite them to show some consideration for those they are so keen to affect,”

E.On’s initial plan for 21 turbines, was reduced in scale to 12 and an application submitted in June 2011. That application was revised in May 2012 and in September last year Scottish Borders Council turned down the application on the grounds that the visual and cumulative impact of the turbines would conflict with the council’s development plan.

“It is the particular position of the wind farm below the skyline of the Eildon Hills when viewed from Twin Law Cairns which will greatly exacerbate its visual impact when combined with the wind farms already visible from this viewpoint and section of the Southern Upland Way,” said the SBC statement. They go on to highlight the impact they believe it would have on walkers on the Southern Upland Way saying they would have experienced “adverse cumulative impact” if the nine new turbines were added to existing schemes.

The council stand by their reasons for refusing the application and they argued that there was no need for a public inquiry saying: “The reasons for which the application was refused are capable of being fully considered by current written representations and accompanied or unaccompanied site visit(s) by the Reporter.”

A site visit will be made by the Reporter on Tuesday, April 30, and he will return to the area in mid May to visit other view points affected.