A Borders wide wind alliance has called for a mandatory 2km separation between wind turbines and homes.
Action groups from across the Borders – and both East and West Lothian – have called for the current guideline of a minimum of 2km between wind turbines and homes and businesses to be made compulsory to mitigate the impact of wind farms on people’s welfare.
The new Borders wide network, formed last month, has already warned that unless drastic action is taken to halt turbine creep from the hills, hundreds of new turbines could soon ruin the region’s biggest asset, its landscape, and its tourist industry, spoiling the peace and tranquillity enjoyed by Borderers and tourists alike.
Mr David Walmsley, chairman of Minto Hills Conservation Group which is a member of the network, said: “The Conservatives’ recent attack on Scottish Government energy policy called for the enforcement of a 2km protection zone to be observed between turbines and habitations.
“The Government’s Minister for Energy, Fergus Ewing MSP, countered that ‘there is already guidance that suggests a 2km barrier between wind farms and settlements’.
“So, are we now to see the Scottish Government and planning authorities actually observe this ‘guidance’ – or is the guidance merely a cover to give an appearance that the Scottish Government does care for its people?
“Politicians’ new focus on setback certainly strengthens the resolve of our members across the Borders to persuade the Government to acknowledge, and adopt, a sensible measure on the siting of wind turbines. We hope that other politicians, local and national, will not dismiss the importance of a minimum setback distance simply because the issue has been adopted by one party.
‘The real flood of wind turbine applications is only just beginning – even though the Borders has already reached saturation point.
“We are now seeing developers moving down from the hills into more populated areas where not just the visual, but the health, economic and the social impacts of turbines will be felt by many more people.”
He added: “Scottish Borders Council should be congratulated for developing robust planning procedures that, despite recent media reports citing pressure from the Scottish Government, have been developed within the Government’s own guidelines – including the 2km minimum setback distance between turbines and people’s homes or businesses.”