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Faw Side wind farm opposed by Scottish Borders Council

Councillors in the Borders have agreed to oppose plans for a 45-turbine wind farm stretching from their region into Dumfries and Galloway.

Community Windpower says its Faw Side scheme near Langholm could meet the energy needs of 325,000 homes.

Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee was told a “gateway into Scotland” was not the right place to site the project.

It agreed to object but the final say will lie with the Scottish government.

Planning officials had recommended that the council should oppose the scheme due to its impact on the landscape.

Of the 45 turbines being proposed,13 are in the Borders with the remainder in Dumfries and Galloway.

Councillors agreed with officer advice that they should lodge an objection to the project.

“This is an area which we are hoping to promote as a great tourist route into Scotland and I don’t think this says much for that,” said Neil Richards.

Jim Fullarton described the area as a “gateway into Scotland” and said that on balance he felt it was right to oppose the plans.

‘Pay the bills’

One councillor did speak out in favour of the scheme saying he did not always agree that turbines spoiled a view.

“If it was up to the local public in the area, they would be supporting it,” said Donald Moffat.

“Landscape character doesn’t pay the bills.

“You can understand why a land owner would want to have a wind farm.”

However, the planning committee agreed to make the council’s opposition known to the Scottish government.

‘Forked tongues’

Community Windpower’s projects director Gillian Cropper described the decision as “disappointing”, especially in light of Scottish legislation on climate change.

“Local authorities speak with forked tongues; on the one hand declare their own climate emergency and set unrealistic net zero targets whilst objecting to pretty much every onshore wind scheme on visual grounds,” she said.

Ms Cropper added that the Faw Side development could “greatly increase” the council’s ability to achieve its climate targets while also delivering a major “economic boost”.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is expected to meet later this month to decide its stance on the scheme.