Approval is recommended for mast site bid

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DESPITE 63 objections, Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee is being urged to approve a bid by a wind farm company to site a meteorological testing mast between Bonchester Bridge and the Carter Bar.

The application for the 60m high structure near Broomhill farmhouse, Chesters, comes from Infinis Energy Services Ltd, which has given the council advance notice of its future plans for a 13-turbine wind farm at Cummings Hill between Southdean Kirk and the A68. Recommending approval, planning officer Andrew Evans stated that Monday’s committee meeting, at which the met mast bid will be determined, is not the appropriate occasion to consider the merits of the wind farm.

And he takes issue with those objectors, including the recently-formed Chesters Wind Farm Action Group, who want the plan rejected because the site falls within the Teviot Valleys special landscape area: a designation contained in draft supplementary planning guidance which is currently out to public consultation.

“At present that consultation draft carries very limited weight in the planning process,” says Mr Evans.