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Forest wind farm scheme to be opposed by council

Councillors unanimously voiced their opposition to plans for an 18-turbine wind farm near Eddleston at a planning meeting this week.

The Cloich Forest plans will be decided by Scottish Government ministers due to the scale of the development, but the council will object to it following the planning committee’s decision on Monday.

Councillors were told by major development manager Ian Aikman that from many viewpoints the 115m-high turbines would become a ‘skyline feature’ and would have a “high degree of visibility”.

Despite some councillors stating that the scheme was “not as bad” as others that had been put before the council, they all agreed that the impact on the landscape would be unacceptable.

Councillor Stuart Bell said that the area had no capacity for turbines of the scale proposed, which is also indicated in the council’s draft development plan.

Councillor Jim Fullarton added: “Turbines of 100m and higher cause a massive problem in our rolling Border hills.”

The proposed wind farm was described by Councillor Simon Mountford as being “singularly intrusive” in an area relatively free of turbines.

Councillor Jim Brown added: “This wind farm is just too big for the surroundings. it is very much over-bearing.”

Councillor Stuart Bell added that during peak construction an average of 15 HGV movements an hour would be an “astonishing burden” on the access road from the A703.