Council opposing plans for 15-turbine wind farm near Hawick

A sign pointing to Ruberslaw, near Hawick.
A sign pointing to Ruberslaw, near Hawick.
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Councillors are objecting to plans for a 15-turbine wind farm near Hawick due to concerns that it would blight an area of natural beauty.

County Durham-based Banks Renewables’ South Lanarkshire operation has submitted an application for the 132m-high turbines on land north, south, east and west of Birneyknowe Cottage, two and a half miles south east of Hawick and a mile west of Bonchester Bridge.

However, this week members of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee endorsed a recommendation to tell the Scottish Government it opposes the application.

A report to councillors concluded that the application would lead to Hawick’s setting becoming “wind farm-dominated”, particularly on the approach from the north.

One of those backing that decision is the chairman of the committee, Hawick and Hermitage councillor Ron Smith.

He said: “I excused myself as chair of the planning committee for consideration of this item.

“My understanding is that the basic issue is the inability of the landscape in that area to contain a windfarm.

“If I had’ve been on the committee discussing this case, I would have agreed with the recommendation to object to this proposal.”

The application will now go to a Scottish government reporter.

The council’s recommendation follows a report to committee members from lead planning officer Julie Hayward concluding that the windfarm would have “major significant impacts on the historic environment” including Rubers Law, a hill south of Denholm.