Government permission has been given for a wind farm to be built in the Scottish Borders, despite a local Facebook campaign of opposition.
The campaign, entitled ‘Say No to Fallago’, maintains that this will result in “a 20km long…highly visible wind energy factory”, in conjunction with another farm, Crystal Rig, already in existence to the east of the new site.
The protesters do not object to the idea of increasing Scotland’s renewable energy, but argue that the Borders are already overpopulated with wind farms, and that this particular area of the Lammermuir Hills is one of the few remaining unspoilt sections.
The spokesman for the group, Mark Rowley, stated: “Not only will this wind farm blight the untouched core of a designated area of great landscape value, but it’s construction goes against the wishes of the local community, whatever the developers and Scottish government say.
“World-class landscapes are the sacrificial lambs in the Scottish Government’s attempts to meet self-imposed renewable targets.”
A nine-mile march took place near the site on 12 June this year in a bid to raise awareness, with around 300 people attending, including the botanist David Bellamy.
North British Wind Power (NBWP) have defended their choice of site, describing the area as “already degraded” by pylons, and one of the most remote places in the Borders.
Christopher Wilkins, chairman of NBWP, stated: “We are pleased that after two public inquiries, consent has been granted for our proposed 144MW wind farm at Fallago Rig in the Scottish Borders.”
A spokesman had previously argued that the scheme would contribute £240,000 a year for 25 years to an environmental fund for the area, and that the turbines would also be able to provide power to 80,000 homes.
A recommendation for the project was first put to the Scottish Government in February 2008 by NBWP, with an inquiry being held to assess the suitability of the site.
Despite a further recommendation in August 2008 for the project to go ahead, discussions continued as to whether the wind turbines would interfere with radar signals, with the MoD registering their concern.
A revised proposal, published on 24 July 2009 stated that these objections had been withdrawn and a hearing that took place earlier this year at the Volunteer Hall in Duns examined all the conditions of the site.
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