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Shaw Park wind farm appeal submitted

An appeal has been lodged with the Scottish Government by Minto man Jim Shanks, who is seeking to build a nine-turbine wind farm near Stow.

Mr Shanks first submitted a plan for the community-owned Shaw Park scheme to the council in August 2011, but it was rejected two years later.

The reasons for rejection were: interference with the Eskdalemuir Seismic Array; unacceptable impact on landscape character, particularly Stow and Lauder Common, and unacceptable impact on a range of ‘receptors’.

The appeal statement, submitted by Green Cat Renewables on Mr Shanks’ behalf, says: “The landscape and visual impacts of this development are low overall and this scheme should be viewed much more favourably than any alternative.

“Cumulative impacts are contained by Shaw Park being adjacent to an existing wind farm, largely avoiding wider impacts on Lauder Common or the A7/A68 corridor.”

It adds: “Views would be minimal from the sensitive historic core of Stow, including the conservation area and parish church.

“The Shaw Park turbines would also relate to existing wind energy development in the area – in particular Longpark wind farm, appearing as an extension to this array with no design compatibility issues.”

The appeal document concludes: “The Shaw Park proposal has significantly greater positive benefits than most similar developments as it is planned as a 100 per cent community-owned co-operative.”

Mr Shanks has previously stated that the local community could benefit to the tune of more than£25million over 25 years.

The 19-turbine Longpark wind farm was also initially rejected by the council but approved following an appeal.

April 3 has been set as the target date for the Shaw Park appeal to be decided.