Wind farm traffic to go via Cockburnspath

Wind turbine parts could be passing through the village of Cockburnspath on their way to Lammermuir wind farms if the road from the A1 to Monynut is upgraded.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 6th March 2014, 4:28 am

Community Windpower has asked Scottish Borders Council for a scoping opinion and they also plan on holding a public meeting in Cockburnspath Village Hall to let the community see their proposed plans for improving five stretches of the road before submitting a planning application on construction of a new access road for wind farm traffic.

Better access to Community Windpower’s Aikengall wind farm has become more of an issue since it’s 16 125 metre turbines are to be increased by a further 19 similar sized turbines.

In the request for a scoping opinion from SBC planners, Community Windpower’s project manager, Ben Fielding, said: “The proposed development, if consented, would consist of five sections of ‘new, informal, stone access tracks’, plus modifications in the highway boundary to allow access for construction traffic and abnormal loads from the A1 to Aikengall schemes.

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“This includes, but is not limited to, Aikengall Community Wind Farm and also the consented Aikengall II, Wester Dod. The route may also be used by other wind farm developers in the future.

“Other developers, including Berwickshire Housing Association and Berwickshire Community Renewable have consented schemes in the area and it is envisaged this one route could be shared between the developers, thus reducing the need to all secure separate routes.

“Once constructed, the development would facilitate both construction traffic and abnormal load deliveries associated with Community Wind Power’s wind farm schemes.

“The track would remain in location for the duration of the wind farms and would also be used during decommissioning of the schemes - not anticipated for 20 plus years.”

Aikengall Community Wind Farm has been operational since March 2009 and planning consent for an extension was approved by the Scottish Government in March last year.

Berwickshire Housing Association and their partners Community Energy Scotland already have planning consent for three 115m turbines at Hoprigshiels, on the same stretch of road that would be used by Aikengall wind farm traffic. They are waiting for a grid connection date before construction starts on the turbines and BHA confirmed this week that informal discussions have taken place with Community Windpower about the potential benefit of the road improvements.