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Village wins its battle against Gilston wind farm bid

A Borders village which took on the Scottish Government over its decision to approve a controversial wind farm there has won its appeal.

Heriot Community Council took legal action against a reporter’s decision to overturn Scottish Borders Council’s rejection of the proposed Gilston wind farm on landscape impact grounds.

Residents believed the reporter failed to properly address the issues arising from the appeal and gained financial backing from nearby Raeshaw Estate to pursue the matter this spring.

And that move paid off last week as Scottish ministers agreed to quash the reporter’s decision and order that the appeal be looked at again by a different reporter.

Forsa Energy, the developer hoping to build seven turbines on land north west of Gilston Farm, has since sold its wind farm portfolio to German firm BayWa.

It now falls upon that firm to decide whether to continue with the Gilston application.

Community council chairman John Williams said the Heriot committee is pleased with the outcome.

“It vindicates the difficult decision to bring about such a serious and complex legal action,” he said.

“Such actions are seldom undertaken and only succeed where the court finds or, as in this case, ministers accept that the decision was not in accordance with the law.

“The bar set by the Scottish courts is high, and this success emphasises that it was the correct thing to do in the circumstances.

“It goes without saying that Heriot Community Council could only bring the action with the full financial support of Raeshaw Estate.”