Environmental protesters in East Lothian have hailed the decision by a neighbouring council to reject a bid for two wind turbines near the border of the county as “a robust defence of the Lammermuirs”.
Scottish Borders Council’s Local Review Body considered an appeal by Kinegar Quarry against refusal last September of its application to erect two 130-metre high wind turbines on the Scottish Borders boundary, next to the village of Cockburnspath.
However, members rejected the appeal last week on the grounds that the existing level of wind turbine development in the Eastern Lammermuirs was such that the environment was prejudiced beyond reasonable measure to permit further turbines.
In particular, members felt that any turbines of this nature and size in this general location would definitely impact to the detriment of the Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) which is designated between Innerwick and Cockburnspath, and also that it would be a material blow to the Oldhamstocks Conservation Area next door.
A spokesperson for Save The Lammermuirs, a representative body of a large number of East Lothian residents whose aim is to prevent the industrialisation of the Lammermuir Hills, attended the meeting.
He said: “Based on a number of recent wind turbine refusals, Scottish Borders Council is clearly now saying ‘enough is enough’ as far as over-saturation of the Lammermuir Hills is concerned, particularly for the wrong schemes in highly sensitive locations.
“We call upon East Lothian Council also to show this same degree of foresight and integrity in bringing to a halt the serious desecration of the Eastern Lammermuir fringe by wind developers.
“There are dozens of further applications in the pipeline right now at both councils; we are looking to the planners across our two adjacent counties to continue the robust defence of the Lammermuirs in the face of pressure from increasingly greedy commercial developers whose sole aim is huge profitability at the expense of those constituents who actually live here and whose livelihoods revolve around these hills.”
Protest group Sustain a Beautiful East Lothian (SABEL) – set up last year to raise awareness of the increasing number of bids for large individual wind turbines standing at more than 25m in East Lothian – also welcomed the decision.
A SABEL spokesperson said: “We are heartened that not only did councillors express concern regarding the detrimental visual impact to the neighbouring conservation village of Oldhamstocks, but also that the cumulative impact these turbines would have had, in this instance with other large existing wind farm developments in the near vicinity, was a primary consideration.”
There have been four applications to erect individual wind turbines in East Lothian submitted to the local authority in 2011, though three of those have been classed as ‘invalid’ by council planners.
The remaining ‘active’ application is to erect a 30-metre-high wind turbine, with a 100KW capacity, at Cockielaw Farm near Haddington.
SABEL is also concerned about an application for two 55-metre turbines at Fernylea Farm, Cockburnspath, submitted last September.
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