Members of Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee have delayed making a decision on a wind farm extension – to allow a former Lord Lieutenant get some sleep.
Power company Infinis wants to add a further six 100-metre high turbines to its Glenkerie Wind Farm, near Broughton.
The existing 11 turbines went live in February, 2012. The company believes that the high wind-speeds recorded on the rural Tweeddale hillsides are ideal for further turbines.
But this week’s planning meeting was told that the extension plans will see the wind farm encroach into a neighbouring valley. And that one of the proposed turbines will be positioned only 900 metres from the home of former Tweeddale Lord Lieutenant, Sir David Younger.
Lady Pamela Strachan, who is the wife of the current Lord Lieutenant Sir Hew Strachan, delivered a damning verdict against the application during Monday’s meeting.
She said: “Sir David Younger did not want to object to the application due to the fact that he was Lord Lieutenant at the time. The nearest of these turbines will be only 900 metres from his home. The noise from these turbines will be terrible during the night.”
Lady Strachan also hit out at the footprint of the Glenkerie Wind Farm breaking into the Glenholm Valley. And she claimed the six new turbines would be much more visible.
Lady Strachan added: “In contrast the turbines that are already there, these will be 110 metres higher and will be a great intrusion on the valley.
“The current wind farm is between 100 and 200 metres below the hill line – this cannot be said of the extension.”
Planning officers admitted the site is sensitive due to its proximity to an Uplands Special Landscape Area.
But they believed it was acceptable within their planning policies – and recommended members of the committee approve the application.
Jedburgh councillor Jim Brown was supportive of the additional turbines but expressed his concerns about the noise. He said: “The turbines themselves are well contained although I appreciate local residents will have a different view.
“I do have concerns about the noise. I hope we can do something to help the residents of Glenkirk get some sleep at night.
“I hope we can do some micro-siting and help Mr Younger.”
Kelso councillor Simon Mountford also expressed concern over the noise. He stated: “If it wasn’t for Glenkirk I don’t think we would have an argument.”
A total of 23 objections were tabled by residents.
And both Upper Tweed Community Council and the Manor, Stobo and Lyne Community Council opposed the extension. Selkirkshire councillor Michaelle Ballantyne added: “There is an issue with noise and I am deeply concerned about the turbines which are closest to the residential properties.”
Members of the committee agreed to continue the application until next month for talks to place with Infinis about moving the closest two turbines to Glenkirk.
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