Council turns down Brunta Hill wind farm plans

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An eight-turbine wind farm near Westruther has been unanimously rejected by Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee.

The Brunta Hill scheme, put forward by PNE Wind, had been recommended for refusal by council planning officers.

Members of the planning committee agreed, and the plan was refused on the grounds of its adverse impact on the landscape, including the Southern Upland Way, the cumulative effect with Fallago Rig and the Corsbie Moor scheme (currently in the appeal system), and because the turbines would be ‘overbearing and dominant’ in relation to nearby homes.

Councillor Donald Moffat described the siting of the wind farm - on a ridge - as being ‘one step too far’, adding: “There is nothing here that says to me this is a good development.”

Fellow Berwickshire councillor Jim Fullarton added that because of the size of modern turbines it was “becoming more and more difficult to put these machines in the right place in the Borders.”

Ian Aikman, planning officer, said: “The revision of two turbines and height has not, in officers’ view, made a significant reduction in terms of the visibility of the turbines.”

Gemma Hamilton, project development manager for developers PNE Wind UK Limited said: “We are extremely disappointed by this decision today. Considerable effort has gone into the design of the proposed Brunta Hill Wind Farm to ensure that the renewable energy potential of this site is maximised, whilst minimising the landscape and environmental effects on the surrounding area.

“We maintain our position that this is an acceptable scheme and following detailed examination of the council’s decision we will explore what further options are available to progress this development.”