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Objections remain to reduced Earlshaugh  

Credit:  Peeblesshire News | 8 Nov 2013 | www.peeblesshirenews.com ~~

Borders councillors have cemented their stance against wind turbines being erected around the region’s highest hills.

Wind Energy Limited wants to erect 22 of the green-energy structures on land at Earlshaugh in Tweedsmuir.

The second-revised application has seen the proposed development scaled down in both numbers and height.

But the location doesn’t sit well with members of Scottish Borders Council who have agreed to oppose the scheme during a meeting this week.

Planning chief Ian Aikman said: “The scheme has come before us on two previous occasions. The key objections remain – interference with the skyline and its impact on the surroundings.

“This is an upland area which has a degree of sensitivity.”

The area around Broad Law, Hart Fell and the Devil’s Beeftub is regarded as amongst the most beautiful in southern Scotland – and is located within the Tweedsmuir Uplands Special Landscape Area.

Due to the size of the application it is considered by the Scottish Government.

Wind Energy originally wanted to erect 36 turbines in the area back in 2008 but met considerable opposition from the local authorities in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, as well as Scottish Natural Heritage.

A third application for 22 turbines, and nine of them reduced in height from the 24-turbine second application, was submitted with Holyrood earlier this year.

But the revised bid still hasn’t convinced councillors at Newtown.

Selkirkshire member Michelle Ballantyne said: “Of the 11 viewpoints that were considered in the previous application the changes only affect two of them.”

As well as objecting to the application on grounds of impact on the landscape, Tweeddale member Stuart Bell also argued that the cumulative effect created along with neighbouring windfarms would also be detrimental.

Councillor Bell said: “I understand why there may not have been cumulative impact on the 2011 application but we now have Glenkerie and the Clyde extension nearby. Cumulative impact has been substantially increased since 2011.”

A full objection, including concerns over cumulative impact, has been sent to the Scottish Government.

Source:  Peeblesshire News | 8 Nov 2013 | www.peeblesshirenews.com

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