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Protesters block wind turbines near ‘iconic’ site

Contentious plans to site two 40 metre wind turbines near Traprain Law, an ancient monument near Haddington, have been unanimously turned down by East Lothian Council’s planning committee.

The proposals attracted more than 100 objections and a large number of protesters attended the debate in the Council Chambers, Town House, Haddington, on Tuesday, leaving standing room only.

Michael Brander proposed to erect one turbine at Whittingehame Mains Farm and representatives for the late Jimmy Clark, who died last month, continued his application for a turbine at Cockielaw, both to replace six 15 metre turbines which already have consent from the council.

Councillors heard that Historic Scotland described Traprain Law as one of the most important Iron Age hillforts in Scotland and the wind turbines would introduce “a towering vertical structure” in the immediate setting of the scheduled ancient monument, and would be “visually dominant.”

David Mitchell, who lives at Luggate, opposed the plans on behalf of protesters, saying: “One of the main attractions of this area for locals and visitors are the views of the hills and open countryside and, of course, one of East Lothian’s most iconic features, Traprain Law.”

Mr Brander explained that diversification was encouraged by the government “and they are particularly encouraging us to concentrate on the provision of energy.”

Full report in this week’s News