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Spurlens Rig windfarm bid blown out

Plans to construct six 125-metre high wind turbines near Leadburn have been rejected amid fears the noise levels could play havoc with sonic waves.

The Ministry of Defence lodged a complaint against the Spurlens Rig development as the site lies within the 50 kilometre radius of the Eskdalemuir Seismic Array at Langholm.

The application from developers Lomond Energy was also refused by Scottish Borders Council’s Principal Planning Officer Craig Millar on a number of other grounds such as the detrimental impact the development would have on the landscape.

And concerns over the “significant adverse impact” on the Pentland and Moorfoot Hills ranges were also cited.

The development attracted 745 objections from locals and community organisations, almost all concerned with its impact on the local landscape.

Lomond Energy had stated that the site would generate up to 15MW electricity, placing the development within the local scale of development as defined by The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Regulations 2009, the threshold of change to major being 20MW.

Consequently, under the approved Scheme of Delegation operated by SBC, the application could be determined by the appointed officer if the recommendation was to refuse the application.

In a first for the Borders, Lomond Energy also offered the three nearby communities of Lamancha, Eddleston and Howgate, direct ownership of one single turbine, although at an eye-watering £700,000 one-off cost.

Lomond Energy director Steve Macken said of the decision: “Further to the Council’s refusal of the application we are currently considering our options as to how to take the project forward.

“This process will be informed by discussion with both Council officers and local stakeholders which we hope to undertake over the next few weeks.

“Notwithstanding Scottish Borders Council’s refusal, we maintain that Spurlens Rig represents an excellent site for a modest scale wind turbine development and that such a development would bring significant local economic benefit to the area at a time of increasing economic uncertainty and national austerity.”