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Barreled out?  

Credit:  Selkirk Weekend Advertiser | 3 March 2013 | www.selkirkweekendadvertiser.co.uk ~~

Objections from the Ministry of Defence looks set to scupper plans to erect eight 125m-high wind turbines near Ashkirk.

Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee is expected to refuse the application between the village and Alemoor Loch when it comes before them on Monday.

The MoD has stated that the ABO Wind UK scheme at Barrel Law would compromise air traffic control radar equipment at RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria and the seismological recording station at Eskdalemuir.

The Eskdalemuir facility monitors underground nuclear tests as part of the UK’s commitment to a United Nations treaty.

On the basis of the MoD objections alone, council planning officer John Hiscox has said that the committee could refuse the application.

However, concerns about the impact of the turbines on the landscape are also listed as a reason for refusal in his report to the committee.

In the report, Mr Hiscox states that the development would “unacceptably erode landscape character and quality, thereby harming the landscape and visual environment of the Borders, and would cause unreasonable prejudice to the private amenity currently experienced by residents.”

In assessing the visibility of the proposed wind farm from various locations, Mr Hiscox added that the placement of the scheme would be ‘unacceptable’ on its own and in combination with Langhope Rig from the viewpoint at the William Ogilvie Cairn, between Ashkirk and Roberton.

More than 90 consultation responses from the public were received by SBC in relation to the application, with just three supporting the scheme.

The application seeks to erect the turbines close to the consented, but yet to be built, Langhope Rig wind farm.

Local councillors had refused that plan, but their decision was overturned by a Scottish Government reporter on appeal.

ABO Wind UK has said that investment into a community benefit fund for local villages could top £2million over the lifetime of the Barrel Law wind farm.

Source:  Selkirk Weekend Advertiser | 3 March 2013 | www.selkirkweekendadvertiser.co.uk

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