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Wind farm garners support but ‘vast majority’ against it

A renewable energy firm is claiming a shot in the arm with more than 100 letters of support for its wind farm proposal at Birneyknowe.

Banks Renewables, of Hamilton, whose 15-turbine bid centres on a site between Hawick and Bonchester, is “delighted” with the positive feedback, and speaking to the Hawick News this week, the firm’s director, Phil Dyke, said: “We continue to hear a lot of positive verbal feedback from residents and this is reflected 
by the 106 people who took the time to enter a note of support.”

“We’ve dedicated a lot of time to talking and listening to the community, therefore I am absolutely delighted to see this kind of feedback. We’d encourage others who are in favour of our proposals to make their voices heard to the councillors and planning officials who will make the decision on whether the wind farm is given the go-ahead.”

Among the local residents backing Banks’ proposal is former Borders College finance chief Andrew Haddon, who said: “As long as wind farms are sensitively designed, and are located in suitable areas, they can be a valuable asset to local communities.”

Retired farmer Nicholas Ewart, of Acreknowe, has also thrown his weight behind the turbines bid. He said: “Banks’ plans include a number of economic benefits for the area, such as increased employment, so it’s definitely something I’m supporting.”

Responding to support for the Birneyknowe wind farm bid, a spokesperson for Hobkirk Community Council said: “It would be interesting to know how many letters of support are from those with a direct or indirect financial interest.

“Hobkirk Community Council reflects the views of the vast majority of the
 community in opposing the proposed Birneyknowe plans.”