Developer pulls plug on wind farm plan

The Carter Bar
The Carter Bar

Controversial plans for a wind farm overlooked by the Carter Bar south of Jedburgh have been withdrawn – just a week before they were due to be debated.

Around 200 objections had already been lodged with Scottish Borders Council (SBC) against the proposal for seven 126.5-metre high turbines at Cummings Hill, near Chesters. It was due to be considered by SBC’s planning and building control committee next Monday.

But this week, Craig Wallace, an agent for Northampton-based renewables company Infinis, told the council his clients had been “considering their position in light of recent consultee responses and the approach to the progression of the proposals”.

Mr Wallace said: “In light of current circumstances, we are instructed to formally withdraw the application. Our clients will consider the future approach to the site and, if appropriate, we will be in contact with the council to discuss a potential approach to resubmission.”

The decision comes in the same week that Infinis lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government against June’s decision by the planning committee to reject the firm’s bid for nine turbines at Windy Edge, about 15 miles north-west of Cummings Hill, near historic Hermitage Castle.

Southdean resident Philip Kerr, chair of the Chesters Wind Farm Action Group which was formed when Infinis first unveiled its plans for Cummings Hill in 2011, told The Southern: “The unacceptable visual impact of industrial-size wind turbines, which was cited in the Windy Edge decision, applies right across the scenic and unspoiled south-eastern spine of Roxburghshire from here to Newcastleton.

“While we welcome the Cummings Hill withdrawal, albeit very late in the day and at considerable cost to SBC, we will keep up the fight because we know there are scoping [assessment] applications for more wind farms in the area.”

That is a reference to scoping bids for 20 turbines at Newcastleton Forest, 20 at Wauchope West, 50 at Wauchope East and 37 at Highlee Hill just south of Chesters village.