The decision, taken on the casting vote of the chairman, to approve the development of another wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills, has been criticised by the chairman of East Lammermuir Community Council.
Angela Foster said: “It is with bitter disappointment, dismay, and sheer disbelief that we find ourselves being completely let down by the East Lothian planning system yet again.
“Last week’s planning meeting where the convener used his casting vote to push through approval of Aikengall Wind farm has left those who live directly within this community stunned and disillusioned.”
Councillors were split on Community Windpower Ltd’s plan to erect 16 windturbines at the eastern end of the Lammermuirs.
Councillor Norman Hampshire used his casting vote as chairman in favour of the project – and against the recommendations of planning officials.
He told his colleagues: “Turbines will have an impact within the Lammermuirs – you cannot hide them. If you support them in principle then you must accept that they have to go somewhere.
“The impact of this will be no greater than what we have here at Crystal Rig, so I am supporting this application. It is in line with the policy we have with regard to supporting the environment.”
But Councillor Ludovic Broun-Lindsay warned: “We are being asked to scar the face of the Lammermuirs here.”
Opposition to the proposed turbines, which at 25 metres will be the largest in the UK, has been staunch.
Representing East Lammermuir Community Council, Peter Armstrong expressed his concern that the increasing numbers of wind turbines would result in an “unacceptable visual impact.”
“The Lammermuir sky line of East Lothian will be affected by the outline of the wind turbines and Oldhamstocks will be spoiled by the visual impact,” he argued.
22 March 2007
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