Barbed wired ‘prison’ sparks resident’s anger

Razor wire surrounding electric sub station in Level Crossing Road, Selkirk.
Razor wire surrounding electric sub station in Level Crossing Road, Selkirk.
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SCOTTISH Power has agreed to replace razor wire around a Selkirk electrical sub-station after it was described as looking like a prison, writes Kenny Paterson.

Maurice Givan opened his curtains last week to discover the ugly addition to the installation which is just metres away from his Level Crossing Road home.

But the energy provider met Mr Givan and Selkirk councillor Kenneth Gunn last Friday and agreed to replace the unsightly protection with normal barbed wire. And it is hoped trees along the Black Path which previously blocked Mr Givan’s view of the sub-station before being chopped down last year will be replaced.

Scottish Power had claimed it was forced to install the extra wiring on top of six-foot high fencing due to safety concerns.

A spokesman said: “We have had a couple of recent reports of people climbing into the sub-station.

“It is the main sub-station for the town and has 33,000 volts going through it, so we have had to increase the size of the fencing.”

But Mr Givan was not satisfied by the excuse, given last week.

He told TheSouthern: “Trees used to protect our view of the sub-station but they were cut down six months ago when they were meant to have been pruned. Now we have a view of fencing and razor wiring – it looks terrible. It is like living next to a prison.

“It is not attractive at all and is not in keeping with the area.”

He added: “For the amount of money Scottish Power is making, it should be able to put something up which looks better.

“It looks ridiculous and nowhere else in Selkirk has fencing like it.”

Selkirk Community Council chairman Gordon Edgar, who visited Mr Givan, was concerned about the impact of the security measures on the amenity of the area for people walking along the Black Path.

“I share Mr Givan view that this razor wire is way over the top,” said Mr Edgar.