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More wind turbines approved at Crystal Rig

A Scottish Government decision to allow six more turbines to be added to Crystal Rig wind farm has been described as disappointing by the depute leader of East Lothian Council.

Councillor Michael Veitch, who represents Dunbar and East Linton, said the decision meant the eastern Lammermuirs were “well on the way to becoming one giant wind factory” and a refusal of the latest plans would have sent a clear message.

Scottish Ministers have approved the Crystal Rig phase 3 plans.

But they backed East Lothian Council’s objection to one of the turbines, known as turbine one, and a borrow pit at the summit of Bransley Hill.

They also told operators Fred Olsen Renewables there would be a 100-metre height restriction on three of the other turbines.

In the end, they approved six of the seven turbines the operators want to build with a number of conditions.

Mr Veitch said: “While I welcome the fact that consent has been refused for one turbine and a borrow pit, in line with East Lothian Council’s objections, I am very disappointed a further six turbines have been approved.

“The eastern Lammermuirs are now well on the way to becoming one giant wind factory, with the Aikengall-Crystal Rig conurbation continually expanding in size. The refusal of Crystal Rig 3 would have sent a powerful signal that enough is enough.”

David Brunt, CEO for Fred Olsen Renewables said: “It is an uncertain time for the renewable industry in the UK, yet projects like this, which have the support of local communities and the Scottish Government, are shown to bring demonstrable benefits both at a local and national level.”