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Off-shore wind farm will have little visual impact in the Borders

Coldingham Moor and St Abbs Head will be the only places in Berwickshire where the proposed offshore wind farm off the Firth of Forth will be able to be seen.

Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee are being asked for their views about the proposed 125 turbine offshore wind farm Neart Na Gaoithe, nextg week and local planning officers have indicated that they have no objections to the application.

The council’s planning committee will be told by planning officers next week that: “In terms of impact on the Scottish Borders, it is considered that the distance and location of the wind farm combine to limit any significant impact.

“At over 30km north of the Borders the visual and landscape impacts would be at worst moderate and would be minor or negligible from many receptors.”

Weather conditions mean the turbines are only likely to be visible for up to 47 per cent of the year from Coldingham Moor, with similar visibility at St Abbs Head.

Marine Scotland is the body that processes off-shore renewable developments within 12 nautical miles of the shore and they seek the views of local authorities.

The Neart Na Gaoithe off-shore wind farm will have between 75 and 125 turbines up to a height of 197 metres, spreading out over an area of 105km sq.

There is no on-shore development within the Scottish Borders, although after being brought ashore near Torness Power Station, at Thortonloch, East Lothian, the cables will travel underground to a substation at the onshore wind farm Crystal Rig in the Lammermuirs, on the Berwickshire/East Lothian border.

If planning permission is granted by Marine Scotland then offshore construction is expected to start in 2015 with the wind farm fully commissioned by mid to late 2016.