It has been brought to my attention that an application for “the erection of a 74-metre high wind turbine, along with associated substation, hardstanding and access track on land located south-east of Standhill Farm Cottage, near Denholm” has been submitted for planning approval.
While I appreciate the ecological and commercial arguments for wind turbines, I do not believe that their introduction to an aesthetically beautiful rural area such as the Borders should be to the detriment of the local amenity or beautiful landscape which has proved so attractive to UK visitors and overseas tourists for many a year.
I have lived and worked in the Borders since 1991, and during this time have spoken with and entertained many visitors to this region – for many of whom it was their first visit.
Without exception both business and social visitors, and personal friends and family members have stated how much they have been taken by the beautiful Borders countryside, its gently rolling hills and “unspoilt” landscape. In many cases their initial visit has resulted in them returning time and again, and in some cases in them actually relocating to live in the Borders.
Given that there are already so many wind farms located in this region, the most prominently visible of which is on Soutra, the northern entrance to the Borders, do we really want the area to become known more for its accommodation of wind turbines than of its residents, tourists and visitors?
Local businesses, Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Borders Tourist Board have spent an absolute fortune over the years marketing the area, promoting the beauty of the Borders and highlighting their unspoilt uniqueness and rural amenity.
Is all the value to the Borders generated by this resource now going to be negated in the future by the ad hoc introduction of more monstrously-high wind turbines being scattered throughout the countryside purely because they not only generate power for the grid but, more to the point, generate substantial profits for their individual owners? These owners, understandably, are more concerned about their own financial wellbeing than that of the region in which they live and ply their trade.
Surely if there is so much money to be made from investing in wind turbine farms, more investment should be spent on locating these turbines in more remote, off-the-beaten track, secluded areas.
Has history not borne out that once precedent has been set it is difficult, if not well nigh legally impossible, for the local planning authority to refuse similar applications?
For the aforementioned reasons and because I feel so passionately about the Borders and the preservation of their integrity, not only as a beautiful place to live in, but also as a premier Scottish tourist/visitor destination, I would ask your readers to join me in objecting to the granting of this and any further similar projects.
George W. Miller
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