Plans for Wester Dod windfarm amended

AMENDED plans for a windfarm at Wester Dod, right on the boundary of Berwickshire and East Lothian, have been received by Scottish Borders Council this week.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 14th July 2010, 11:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2010, 11:47 am

And in a statement the local authority confirmed that the removal of eight wind turbines means that the development now lies "completely outwith their area."

Unlike their counterparts at East Lothian Council, Scottish Borders Council objected to the original proposals for the development, an extension of the Aikengall windfarm.

Due to the proposed site's geographical position, straddling both council areas, the outcome of the application requires to be decided by the Scottish Government and SBC's objection meant that a public inquiry was likely.

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But following the revised plans by Community Windpower, the local authority's Planning and Building Standards Committee will consider the application again and decide whether to maintain its objection.

The earliest this likely to be discussed is August 9.

In last week's 'Berwickshire News' we carried minutes from a recent meeting of Abbey St Bathans, Bonkyl and Preston Community Council which mentioned on offer of around 50,000 from Community Windpower to help with building works on the new village hall in Abbey St Bathans.

The letter from the applicant stated that this commitment rested "on the positive outcome" of the Wester Dod proposals, adding "we would hope that Abbey St Bathans would support this application which would provide great benefit to the local area."

Unfortunately, there was no-one able to give a comment on behalf of the community council, largely down to the fact that they hadn't yet discussed the revised plans.

Whilst stating that the application from Wester Dod is now outside of their proximity, in a statement to 'The Berwickshire News' earlier this week, Scottish Borders Council still acknowledged that the siting of any turbines could have an affect on the Berwickshire landscape.

And one person who strongly agrees with this suggestion is vice chair of Cranshaws, Ellemford and Longformacus Community Council, Mark Rowley, who was heavily involved in the Fallago Rig public inquiry and is a member of the Save The Lammermuirs group.

Despite contacting them by email, he had yet to receive any information on the revised proposals from Community Windpower and commented: "We know from the earlier proposals that whilst turbines might not actually stand on Scottish Borders soil much, if not most of the impacts will be felt in the Scottish Borders and accross the Lammermuirs in particular.

"The reduction in turbines is nothing but a cynical attempt by the developer to avoid a Public Inquiry, seemingly with the connivance of the Scottish Government who shockingly will be the decision maker on this proposal too.

"As with Fallago, having sat on this proposal for months the Scottish Government has pulled the old trick of releasing this at the height of the holiday season and when many who live and work in the hills are at their busiest.

"Jim Mather, the Minister responsible for tourism as well as energy should be ashamed at how, yet again, his department are trying to stifle scrutiny, debate and the views of locals and interested parties in a blind rush to grant consents as fast as they can.

"The local community were very concerned about the original proposal, it would put the largest turbines in Scotland on the highest ridge in the Lammermuirs - even with a reduced number of turbines it still will."