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Wind farm plans spark heritage fears  

Credit:  Hawick News, www.hawick-news.co.uk 21 October 2011 ~~

Battle lines have been drawn once more at one of the bloodiest sites in reiving history.

This modern day fight involves plans to create a wind farm on land close to the 400-year-old Hermitage Castle, which locals fear would spoil the area.

The proposal by renewable energy firm Infinis is for 20 turbines, 125m high – six miles north of Newcastleton, at Braidlie and Sundhope Farms.

A 70m high wind measuring device, known as an anemometer, has already been put up on Sundhope Farm to gather information on wind speeds.

Malcolm McGregor, of the Hermitage Action Group, which was formed in July this year, explained why they are vehemently opposed to the plans.

He told the Hawick News this week: “Our key concerns focus on the cultural heritage aspect. The masts proposed for Braidlie are on the other side of Hermitage Hill and the nearest turbine would be about a mile from the castle.

“While you may not be able to see them from the castle itself, from any route they would completely dominate the landscape on the approach to the castle.

“Hermitage Castle is one of the most important medieval fortresses in the whole of Scotland. But there is also the nearby chapel and Reivers’ Way.

“These are major attractions and it is felt a wind farm would have a huge impact on the tourists coming to Liddesdale.”

A public meeting has been arranged at the Horse and Hound pub in Bonchester on Wednesday night to discuss the wind farm, which, if approved, would be known as Windy Edge Wind Farm.

Mr McGregor added: “We are not against wind farms, we just feel this particular site is wholly inappropriate.”

A statement from Infinis said: “The project is at a very early stage and we are currently beginning our energy survey.

“There are no views of the turbines from Hermitage Castle and the nearest residential property is 2km away.

“We have invited the local community councils to join a community liaison group.”

n MEANWHILE, A Greener Hawick membership secretary Andy Maybury has revealed that the feasibility study into a wind farm on Hawick Moor is ongoing.

He also said that interviews will be taking place with various interested parties about the possibility of a community wind farm on that site.

Source:  Hawick News, www.hawick-news.co.uk 21 October 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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