1,000 objections blow wind farm off course

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A wind farm development near the Cheviot Hills which attracted more than 1,000 objections has been thrown out by council officials.

The planning department’s decision on Tuesday ends a four-year battle led by campaign group Protect Your Cheviots to stop Whitton Wind Farm project near Morebattle going ahead.

Initially, applicants Vattenfall applied for six turbines in August 2009, which attracted around 800 objections. And despite submitting an amendment in February to reduce the proposal to five turbines by removing the machine closest to Oxnam, a further 400 dissatisfied comments were made to SBC.

Among them was the Duchess of Sutherland, who agreed that the development would mar views from the Eildons, Cheviots and Carter Bar. She added: “It would spoil a particularly magnificent part of our countryside and will be seen for miles around.”

SBC’s refusal report said the proposal would have “a significantly adverse effect on local landscape character” in an area which is currently wind farm free.

Vaffenhall cut the scheme’s size to meet concerns of the Ministry of Defence with regard to the impact on the Eskdalemuir’s underground nuclear testing station.

It was also offering the local community an incentive of up to £1.875million in spin-offs from the wind farm over 25 years, and the application did receive support, including Jedburgh councillor Sandy Scott, who said most of Morebattle’s residents were behind it.

A spokeswoman for Vattenfall said the company was disappointed with the council’s decision.

She told us: “We will now review the grounds for this decision and consider our options going forward.”