Howpark wind farm appeal is successful

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An eight turbine wind farm has finally received planning permission after a Scottish Government reporter overturned a decision by Scottish Borders Council to refuse consent for the development

A year ago the proposed wind farm at Howpark, Grantshouse, was rejected by SBC’s planning committee but an appeal by developers LE20 Limited has been successful.

It is the latest in a growing number of successful appeals by wind farm developers who turn to the pro-windpower Scottish Government for a final judgement when planning permission is not forthcoming from the local authority.

SBC’s planning officers had recommended that the application be approved but councillors on the planning committee in April 2017 ignored that advice.

Now the Scottish Government reporter who considered the appeal by LE20 Ltd has concluded that objections, based on noise and visual impact, were not sufficiently strong to warrant refusal.

Reporter R W Maslin said: “The proposed development accords overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and there are no material considerations which would justify refusal of planning permission. I have considered all the other matters raised, but there is none which would lead me to a different conclusion.

“I allow the appeal and grant planning permission subject to the 31 conditions listed at the end of the decision notice.”

He went on to say: “I find that wind turbines are a characteristic of parts of the landscape surrounding the appeal site. This would not be significantly altered by addition of the proposed turbines to the Drone-Penmanshiel cluster. I find that the proposed turbines would not have any unacceptable cumulative landscape effect.”

The Howpark wind farm site has the 22 turbine Drone Hill wind farm to the north east and 14 turbines at Penmanshiel wind farm to the north west.