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Peeblesshire wind farm proposals are ‘intrusive’, meeting hears

Concern has been voiced that a proposed wind farm in Peeblesshire will be “pretty intrusive” if given the go-ahead.

Peebles Community Council has been asked to back neighbouring community leaders in objecting to the plans for 12 turbines at Cloich Forest, near Eddleston.

Although proposals have been revised to reduce the number of turbines, the height and size are said to have increased.

Convenor of planning for the community council, Peter Maudsley, has changed his stance on the proposals.

After studying details regarding the wind farm plans, he added: “I changed my viewpoint having seen this compared to the view that I took from the open meeting that was held some months back in Eddleston. These are very high, there might be fewer of them, but you can see them virtually from Edinburgh, the coast, and everywhere according to the plans.

“And, when you look at the actual constructions of how they think it might look, they are pretty intrusive.

“So my recommendation now, if you want to let me know your views, is that we should object to it.”

Chairman Les Turnbull added that wind farms are an emotive subject, and you either “love them or hate them”.

Responding to Mr Maudsley, he said: “I was with you in Eddleston when we first saw those plans, and the fact that there were fewer turbines at that time seemed to be a plus.

“But listening to what you have to say, there are fewer but with a much taller profile, and it does sound pretty intrusive.

“I do think as a community council we have to come to a collective decision on this. We need to come to an objective view to represent the residents of the town.”

Energy company EDF, which has submitted the plans, responded to the concerns this week.

A spokesperson said: “The final Cloich wind farm design is currently awaiting a decision from the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit (ECU).

“It is based on feedback we received from a number of community groups and local people at our public exhibitions which were held in April this year and in February 2020.

“Amongst others, Peebles Community Council received a copy of the project’s environmental impact assessment to allow them to consider the wind farm proposal carefully and make any comments to the ECU.

“If consented we believe the wind farm will make an important contribution to meeting climate change targets and will establish a new benefit fund to support local community initiatives and activities.”

More information on the plans can be found at: www.edf-re.uk/our-sites/cloich