Society angry at windfarm situation

The Berwickshire Civic Society has reacted with dismay at the current number of appeals and planning submissions for large wind turbine developments in Berwickshire.

Following the news that the developers of the proposed Horn Burn site, south of Ayton, had skipped the planning process and gone straight to appeal, the chairman of the Society, Matthew Gibb, called for Scottish Borders Council to put a hold on all applications and appeals so that they can put their house in order.

He commented: “It appears clear that the council is overwhelmed by the volume of applications and appeal hearings for wind turbine developments in Berwickshire and across the Borders.”

“The Council seems unable to respond to these vast and complex planning submissions within the statutory time frames because of the sheer numbers of applications for both large scale and small wind turbines.

“ The developers are exploiting and skipping the planning process in favour of an appeal, which they clearly feel will have more chance of successfully getting permission for their schemes.”

Currently there are appeal hearings for Penmanshiel and Blackburn, which are waiting for further responses by the council, together with the Horn Burn appeal on which the Council had 14 days to respond from April 15 and a current appeal is also being heard at Corsbie Moor in Lauder.

Commenting on the complexity of the appeal process, Mr Gibb added “The planning process gives to all the right to comment on such proposals and to have a public local hearing through the planning committee. By going to straight to appeal developers are by passing our local democratic procedures.”