Calling time on the march of wind farms

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Has the time now come for at least a temporary halt to be made on the march of the wind farm?

Last week’s blazing turbine near Ardrossan and much closer to home the collapse of a giant tower near Coldingham must surely give the authorities cause to pause and take breath.

In this age when health and safety prohibits youngsters throwing snowballs or making ice slides in the playground, surely the sight of fire-breathing and tumbling turbines must turn the heads of those in authority.

The Borders, and much of our neighbourhood in the south west, has become a breeding ground for wind farms and local council officials admit they are overwhelmed with applications.

Last week’s incidents admittedly happened as we faced one of the fiercest storms to sweep the area for many years. But with experts admitting there is a wind of change blowing through our weather pattern, perhaps now is the time to call a temporary halt. Not a knee jerk reaction to the failure of two turbines out of thousands, but a responsible look at their safety – or rather the danger we now know exists.

Our report on page 3 highlights the prospect of our forests being destroyed by fire if the Ardrossan incident was repeated here. And the Coldingham collapse was close to houses – it wasn’t even operating when it met its fate. Surely it cannot be argued – even by the most ardent of wind farm supporters and their developers – that danger does not exist.

As we went to press Tweeddale MP David Mundell was demanding that the Health and Safety Executive and planning authorities – and that includes the Scottish Government – confirm they are satisfied with the integrity of turbines and that all necessary checks are now taking place. He’s right – but surely at least a postponement on building and planning must be put in place until those assurances are forthcoming.