Opinions are divided on whether there are too many wind farms being built in the region, according to a new poll by the Borders Party.
The poll, which was conducted at the Border Union Show in Kelso, showed that a majority of participants opposed new wind farms in the Borders. Asked ‘Are there too many wind farms being built in the Borders’, 59% said “Yes” and 41% said “No”.
“This straw poll reflects the concerns that many Borderers have about the proliferation of wind farms in the Borders,” said Nicholas Watson, the Borders Party leader. “People are happy to do their bit to encourage renewable energy, but not at all costs.
“There is a growing feeling that the Borders is being exploited for wind farm sites that aren’t always appropriate to the surroundings. We need to strike a better balance that respects the beauty and integrity of our landscape.
“The Borders Party position is that each development has to be treated on its merits. Its benefits need to be assessed against any damage caused to the locality in terms of visual blight and the economic impact on local people. At the moment not enough account is being taken of the effect development has on people’s lifestyles, the value of their property and the general effect on the Borders as an attractive pace to live, work and visit as a tourist.”
“Policy on global warming is taken at the national level, and there is a strong sense that the Borders is seen as a ‘soft touch’ for wind farm development compared to the Highlands, or English scenic areas that are protected by national parks. It can be difficult for local councillors attached to governing parties to stand up for the Borders in this respect.”
“I am really pleased that the application for a windfarm at Minchmoor was turned down on Monday. We need to recognise that our economic prosperity depends on making the most of our strengths. And one of our key strengths in terms of attracting investment is our special landscape and heritage.”
Ninety four people took part in the poll by voting at the Borders Party stand at the show on July 31.