Residents in a conservation village this week attacked a farmer’s proposal to erect two wind turbines on his land.
Jim Weir has applied to Scottish Borders Council for approval for the 44.5m structures on land north of Whitfield Cottages in West Linton.
But at a Community Council meeting on Monday residents said they were horrified at the plans and that the farmer was trying to downplay the visual impact of the turbines.
A campaign is already underway in the village to collect objections to an eight-turbine windfarm at nearby Hag Law. Proposals have also been made for windfarms at Cloich and Kilrubie – and if all got the go ahead that would bring a total of 33 turbines to the area.
Mr Weir said: “My family has been farming here for four generations – about 90 years – and the turbines would help to cover the cost of the farm. The turbines will be positioned in a basin to minimise visual impact – and they are in a place which has seen a lot of industrial use over the years which has caused smoke, noise, dust and other smells.
“The turbines will be in a great position to generate wind energy. We are breeders of cattle and sheep and would not need the energy ourselves, so the power would go to the national grid. It might generate enough for 132 houses.”
Resident Paul Aitken said: “Green energy is good but the visual impact of these turbines is being downplayed. These turbines will be twice the height of a two-storey house.”
Gordon Ness, a resident at Rutherford Castle, said: “These turbines look quite horrific and they are within 800 metres of our houses. We will see these things clearly 24/7.”
Mr Ness claimed that apart from the visual impact there was also a flicker issue from the sun and that wildlife in the area would be affected. He was also concerned that the proposal would impact on plans for a hotel at Rutherford Castle golf course
“I see this proposal as a huge con for West Linton. I think three objections have been made so far and at least another 10 will be going in,” he said.
Community council member David Small said: “Anybody who owns a piece of land could try to put up one of these things and I think it’s to be encouraged if it’s for their own use.”
Four members of the community council voted to allow the turbines if the height was reduced but two members were against the plan under any circumstances.
Meanwhile, Scottish Borders Council is expected to make a decision on the Hag Law application on December 11. A leaflet is being circulated around the village to gather more objections to the proposal.
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