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Barrel Law wind farm plans go back up for discussion

Revived plans for a controversial wind farm development near Roberton will go on show today.

ABO Wind UK is resurrecting proposals rejected three years ago to put up wind turbines at Barrel Law, two miles north-west of Roberton and almost six miles west of Hawick.

The plans were initially submitted five years ago to Scottish Borders Council.

Councillors threw out that application by the company, a Livingston-based subsidiary of German firm ABO Wind, in 2013, and a subsequent appeal was rejected by the Scottish Government due to concerns over the impact the eight 125m turbines proposed would have on the landscape and on aviation radar.

This time round, the number of turbines planned has been reduced from eight to seven, and they would be sited further north, nearer the already-operational Langhope Rig wind farm and further away from the Ale Water and the Ashkirk-to-Roberton road.

ABO Wind UK’s head of development, Clark Crosbie, said: “The site is located in an area identified as having the highest capacity for wind turbines in the Scottish Borders Council’s draft renewable energy supplementary guidance, and it is also located well outside the area being discussed for a proposed Borders national park.

“In addition, the site has good wind resource, a readily available electricity grid connection, proven turbine delivery route and is relatively isolated, with 15 homes within 3km of the proposed wind turbines.”

The firm is holding a public exhibition today at the Forman Memorial Hall in Roberton, from 1pm to 8pm, to display its initial designs and gather feedback on the revived proposals.

Mr Crosbie added: “We do hope there will be a good turnout for this exhibition.

“We are very keen to get as much feedback as we can on this new design.”

Following the public exhibition and a further period of design and environmental impact assessment, a formal planning application could be submitted for consideration by planners as soon as this summer.

Widespread opposition to the plans is anticipated this time round too, and Chesters Wind Farm Action Group chairman Philip Kerr said: “The return of a previous application that has been refused at all levels with only minor changes is another example of a failure to respect community views.

“The communities were totally against this previously, so I am very disappointed that local opinion and views are being ignored with the decision to refile.”

More information about the Barrel Law wind farm proposals is available at www.