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Campaigners seek to thwart windfarm plans for iconic Devil’s Beef Tub

Campaigners are aiming to block a windfarm development from a site overlooking the Devil’s Beef Tub near Moffat.

Sarah Burchell, of the Save Our Scenery action group, claims that the latest application by renewable energy company, Wind Energy, will have a detrimental impact on the area.

Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell has also voiced his criticism and says he has been inundated by concerned constituents.

Wind Energy originally sought planning permission in 2008 for 36 turbines at Earlshaugh, which falls within the remit of the Scottish Borders Council.

The scheme attracted more than 400 letters of objection from the public with objections raised by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Borders Council.

The developers have now submitted amended plans to the Scottish Government for 24 turbines.

They claim this scaling down is in response to public concerns and the new layout will greatly reduce the visual impact of the development.

Mrs Burchell is urging members of the Moffat community to register their concerns with Scottish Ministers.

She said: “The proposed 24 gigantic wind turbines would stand on the historic and beautiful land above the dramatic Devil’s Beef Tub which lies beneath the A701 road from Moffat to Edinburgh.

“The turbines will be visible from the Devil’s Beef Tub itself, from the Edinburgh Road (A701), Hartfell and all the surrounding hills. They will have a significant impact on the beautiful landscape of the area, being visible for 60 miles around.”

Mr Mundell, the MP, has made clear his opposition to the revised proposal for a windfarm development at Earlshaugh.

He has sent a formal objection to the Scottish Government.

He said: “I was sorry to see this application resubmitted. I share the view frequently expressed to me by constituents that this is an entirely inappropriate location for a wind farm development given the important scenic and historic nature of the Devil’s Beef Tub.

“The proposed development would change the visual setting of the Beef Tub which is a stunning natural feature of huge importance to Moffat’s vital tourist trade, especially in attracting walkers. It is also too close, in my view, to the important landscape which is the source of the River Tweed.”

He added: “I have been contacted by numerous constituents who have expressed very clearly their concerns about this proposal.

“While the development would be in the Scottish Borders Council area, the windfarm would in fact have the most significant impact on the Moffat area in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Mr Mundell called on the Scottish Government to take into consideration the cumulative impact of the Earlshaugh proposals and the huge Clyde windfarm which has been constructed close by and is already seeking an extension.

He said: “Any further large-scale development would significantly alter the landscape of the area in a detrimental way.

“There will also be considerable impact on the community of Moffat during the construction phase, which should not be overlooked.

“I hope that the authorities take the objections of local people into account when considering this application and that we don’t see yet another huge development in our area.”