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Ruling cuts beauty-spot wind turbines down to size  

A clampdown on the number and the height of wind turbines in Midlothian has been approved by councillors.

The move puts in doubt plans by energy giant E.ON UK to build 18 wind turbines with a maximum height of 102 metres at the popular Auchencorth Moss beauty spot near Penicuik.

The project would provide an alternative source of power for 22,000 homes but has attracted fierce opposition from locals who have lodged 2337 objections against the development.

This led Midlothian Council and Scottish Natural Heritage to commission a wider study into the impact of wind farms on Midlothian’s landscape, which has recommended that a number of restrictions are imposed.

The study concludes there is nowhere suitable in Midlothian for wind turbines over a height of 30 metres, or for more than five of them in one location.

Councillors at yesterday’s Midlothian Council cabinet meeting approved the recommendations.

The land earmarked for the wind farm is on a country estate owned by Sir Robert Clerk, and is a designated site of special scientific interest, containing a bog with rare types of moss and plant life.

It is near Gladhouse Reservoir, which attracts large numbers of a rare breed of geese.


21 March 2007

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