The public inquiry into the proposed wind farm at Fallago Rig in the Lammermuirs, starts next week, at the Volunteer Hall, Duns, from Tuesday, February 5, and is expected to last two weeks.
Campaigners opposing the development, proposed by North British Wind Power (NBWP), argue that the cumulative effect of adding to the windfarms already operating or planned in the Lammermuirs would be detrimental to the immediate environment which is designated as an ‘area of great landscape value’.
The scale of the proposed development is such that ultimate approval for it to go ahead would have to come from the Scottish Government.
However, they have to consult with various bodies about the impact of the wind farm, including Scottish Borders Council, and councillors in the region followed the recommendation of local planning officials and refused to give the plans their backing when their views were sought back in September 2005.
In February last year the council’s development and building control committee considered a revised application, reducing the number of wind turbines from 62 to 48 on the same site, which again, as statutory consultees the council objected to on the grounds that “it would have a detrimental impact on landscape character, countryside amenity and the integrity and character of the Lammermuir Hills Area of Great Landscape Value and that it would result in unacceptable cumulative impacts to the detriment of landscape character and countryside amenity”.
Lack of support from the local authority, plus objections from East Lothian Council and Scottish Natural Heritage persuaded the Scottish Government that a public inquiry needed to be held before Scottish Ministers reach a final decision on the proposed wind farm.
Scottish Borders Council will be involved in the public enquiry through their legal services team, and East Berwickshire councillor Jim Fullarton will speak on behalf of the councillors who objected to the decision originally.
An appeal has also been lodged against the refusal of a 22 turbine wind farm at Drone Hill, Coldingham, by Scottish Borders Council’s development committee in November last year. The Scottish Government has decided to deal with this appeal by PM Renewables by way of a public inquiry, although no date has yet been fixed.
By Janice Gillie
30 January 2008
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