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Blimp will demonstrate true height of wind turbines

Following last week’s appeal in the Berwickshire News, Coldingham STAG is delighted to announce that it has raised £800 to ensure that a blimp will fly over Coldingham Moor, demonstrating the true height of the wind turbines proposed by P M Renewables (PMR).

And the opposition group hope that Scottish Borders Councillors will have the opportunity to view the blimp for themselves when they make their site visit to Drone Hill.

A spokesperson for Coldingham STAG said: ‘We had been fundraising for some time but last week’s front page article has brought in the last bit of money needed, proving that people are keen to support this campaign to fight the wind farm. When people see the blimp flying at 76 metres they will be able to judge for themselves the true impact that 22 turbines of this height might have should the application gain planning permission.”

Coldingham STAG has also uncovered evidence that many more people and homes will be affected by the wind farm than those listed in the application by PMR.

The STAG spokesperson said: ‘The PMR application lists 64 residences within 2.5 and 5 km of the proposed site, but a search of the area has revealed there are in fact 94. Further to this, Highview Caravan Park at Drone Hill is home to 132 residential caravans, used as second or holiday homes between March and November, and residents are dismayed.’ Highview Caravan Park is less than 1km from the nearest turbine.

Zulia Hassam, co-owner of the site said: ‘These are permanent second homes. Some of our residents have been owners of these large static homes for nearly 20 years and many families are extremely worried about the effect that the 76 metre high wind turbines will have on their tranquil and scenic setting.

Others are worried about interference with their television reception.

“Many of the homes have verandas, decking and gardens, some of which will have a direct view of the wind farm site. Even people who do not have direct views will have no escape from the sight when they use the site facilities of bar/restaurant, shop, laundry and even the shower toilet facilities as these are all along the flat top of the site looking towards the proposed wind turbines.’

Mr Hassam is also concerned about the aspect of his business catering to tourists.

He said: ‘Our touring caravan and camping pitches are close to the proposed site and if the build should go ahead it will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on bookings. I am very concerned about the major loss of amenity to this long established caravan park should the application be

“Highview already has a distant view of Black Hill Windfarm at Longformacus on the southerly side and would also have views of the turbines at Alemill Farm in Eyemouth where a scoping opinion is being sought. Residents are extremely concerned about the potential cumulative impact of the three sites and I am determined to fight this application alongside them.’

A spokesperson for Coldingham STAG said: ‘It is important that when councillors consider this application they understand these are not touring caravans but something permanent.

“The council’s own policy states that ‘sensitive receptors’ – one of which is of course people – must be taken into consideration when considering wind farm applications. What we have here is the inhabitants of 132 second homes, and 30 year round residential properties who have simply been overlooked by PMR’s assessment of visibility at domestic receptors.”

By Simon Duke

The Berwickshire News

5 September 2007

Coldingham STAG: coldinghamstag.org.uk