Anemometer masts that measure wind speed are a regular feature on the council’s planning applications lists and planning officers have concluded that there are few grounds for refusing them.
Since 2005 Scottish Borders Council has had 114 applications for anemometer masts – 111 were approved, two refused and one was withdrawn. The only two to be refused were both in Berwickshire – one at Longformacus and the more recent one at Ayton, which was given approval on appeal.
As a result of publicity following their refusal for the mast at Prenderguest Farm, Ayton, SBC planners looked at how such applications are dealt with across the country. And what became clear was that because the masts were temporary structures (which could be anything from six months to five years at an average cost of £100,00), and also because they were generally of a slender design even if planning permission was usually given.
“It is clear that it is inappropriate for the planning authority to give any weight to the potential for the site to be developed for a wind farm or the erection of a wind turbine,” says SBC’s briefing note on anemometer masts.
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