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‘Dismay’ at 27 turbine scheme

A total of 62 wind turbines could tower above an East Lothian village if the latest plans get the go-ahead.

Already, 16 turbines are in place at Aikengall Wind Farm (Aikengall I), with a further 19, Aikengall II, granted planning permission by a Scottish Government-appointed Reporter last year.

Now, a third planning application for 27 more turbines – labelled Aikengall IIa – has gone forward to Scottish Ministers and has been met with “dismay”.

Chris Bruce, who lives in Oldhamstocks and is chair of East Lammermuir Community Council, had concerns about the Community Windpower proposals.

He said: “I think there are two comments from the perspective of East Lammermuir Community Council.

“The so-called Community Windpower community representative came to one of our meetings in about May last year to tell us they were going to put an application in and it would be fair to say the proposal was met with dismay.

“That is the word we noted in the minutes and so on.”

The site straddles the border between East Lothian and the Scottish Borders with eight of the proposed turbine pencilled in for the Garden County.

According to the design statement, the exact turbine manufacturer is yet to be agreed, with the turbines varying in height between 110m and 145m from ground to blade tip.

Mr Bruce described the latest potential addition of 27 turbines as “a significant extension”.

Part of the proposed development would see one turbine fall under community ownership.

Mr Bruce said there was talk of £5,000 per MW being shared between the four local community councils – East Lammermuir; Cranshaws, Ellemford and Longformacus; Cockburnspath; and Abbey St Bathans, Bonkyl and Preston – but he was keen to find out more about the scheme.

He asked: “If Community Windpower is really keen to promote community ownership, why don’t they offer ownership of a turbine already with permission?”

No one from the company was available for comment.

Meanwhile, Fred.Olsen, the developer of the proposed windfarm extension Crystal Rig III – near the existing Crystal Rig I and II windfarms in the Lammermuirs – has submitted to Scottish Ministers further information on its plans, including a landscape and visual impact assessment on a reduced scheme layout.

That could see the creation at the site of seven turbines with a ground to blade tip height to a maximum of 125 metres. There had previously been 11 turbines mooted.