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Reporter took ‘easy’ option on turbine  

Credit:  Selkirk Weekend Advertiser, www.selkirkweekendadvertiser.co.uk 16 July 2011 ~~

A Scottish Government reporter took the “easy decision” by opting to seek Ministry of Defence (MoD)approval for a wind turbine bid at Midlem, according to the applicant, writes Kenny Paterson.

Tony Clay’s long running battle to erect a 15-metre high turbine at his Ravenslea home will continue after reporter Michael Culshaw backed his plan – provided it gets the nod from defence chiefs.

A Keele University report will now look into whether the proposed energy generator will create enough noise to adversely affect the UK’s only underground nuclear test monitoring station at Eskdalemuir.

The MoD have previously argued that any more wind farm developments within 31 miles (50 kilometres) of the base could mean it was unable to fulfil its obligation to monitor worldwide testing.

Mr Clay told The Wee Paper: “The latest position is that the MoD have introduced a new process whereby Keele University test turbines and the MoD then vet the results to confirm if the relevant machine is acceptable.

“Although Keele can carry out their work in a reasonable timescale, the MoD have only one expert to look at the results and he seems to be over-committed to work on large windfarm appeals.”

Mr Clay claims the only other turbine model tested by Keele last year is still awaiting consideration by the MoD.

“This delay was highlighted to the reporter but he has still opted for the easy decision of insisting we wait for completion of the new process, or rely on the test by Keele without MoD input, which is disappointing,” he said.

The Keele University report is due to be completed by the end of August, but Mr Clay is not expecting an MoD verdict until after April next year.

Scottish Borders Council turned down Mr Clay’s application in February last year because of defence concerns. But he appealed and SBC’s review body supported Mr Clay’s bid in August 2010, resulting in the case being referred to Mr Culshaw.

Source:  Selkirk Weekend Advertiser, www.selkirkweekendadvertiser.co.uk 16 July 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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