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Plans being drawn up for new wind farm near Walkerburn

Plans are being drawn up for another wind farm in the Borders to add, if approved, a dozen further turbines to the scores already dotted across the region’s skylines.

A scoping report for a windpower site comprising 12 turbines up to 180m tall on land north and east of Old Caberston, near Walkerburn, was submitted to Scottish Borders Council planners this week, paving the way for an application at a later date.

The wind farm at Scawd Law now being proposed by Fred Olsen Renewables, part of the Norwegian firm Bonheur, is a third smaller than the 18-turbine development originally suggested for the site in 2017.

Explaining that reduction in size, Euan Hogg, author of Dumfries and Galloway-based Natural Power Consultants’ scoping report, says: “The original proposal was for an 18-turbine project.

“However, following a review of the development and a further understanding of the constraints that exist from engineering, planning, landscape and environmental perspectives, taking into account the wind energy resource and the potential energy yield of the proposed development, the current layout of 12 turbines has been proposed.”

A 35-year lifespan is being suggested for the development.

A consultation process is now about to get under way, but, due to social distancing guidelines still in force in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus, it will take place online.

Mr Hogg writes: “Fred Olsen Renewables is keen to engage with local communities close to the proposed development to gather their views, so these can, where possible, inform the planning information required for any forthcoming application.

“In recognition of the current disruptions of the regular dates and format for community council meetings due to Covid-19, it will be seeking to present a virtual presentation and discuss the development via a virtual meeting.

“The views of local communities will be continually sought throughout the planning process and there will be other opportunities for key stakeholders and community members to share their views on the project as it progresses throughout the planning process.”

Fred Olsen Renewables also owns the 85-turbine Crystal Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills, completed in 2004 and extended in 2007 and 2010.