Lauder wind farm fight leaves locals feeling like Custer’s besieged troops

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LAUDER residents have begun to feel like the doomed cavalry troopers at General Custer’s last stand at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, it was revealed this week.

The cause is the plethora of proposals and planning applications for new wind farms in the surrounding countryside.

Now, two community information days being planned by local community councillors are being billed as possibly the ‘last stand’ for residents opposed to the rash of wind farm proposals.

Former community council chairman, Graeme Donald, says the cummulative effect on the countryside of perhaps as many as six new windfarms, at various stages of development, concerns many living in Lauderdale.

“Some feel overwhelmed by the presence of wind turbines in the northern Borders, while others feel that they could benefit by the money offered by windfarm developers, and a few consider this form of energy to be essential,” Mr Donald told The Southern this week.

“But like General Custer’s last stand at the Little Big Horn, Lauder feels surrounded by the enemy,” added Mr Donald. “Could the two community information days planned by the community council be Lauder’s last stand?”

The two community information days are scheduled for March 2, from 3-9pm and on March 16 at 7pm, with both being held in the town’s Public Hall.

Mr Donald continued: “The first date will provide all known information on the topic of wind farms without the presence of any wind farm developer.

“It is intended that the second session takes the form of a hustings with wind farm developers, conservation groups, councillors and MSPs present to answer questions and to hear views directly from residents.”

Mr Donald says local residents of Lauderdale are being encouraged to attend the first session on March 2, so that they might be better informed on all of the work of the community council.

“More importantly, they can leave equipped with questions and comments for the Windfarm Hustings on March 16,” he added.

Mr Donald says, while the topic of wind farms is expected to command much of the meetings’ time, information on other community council projects will also be on display.

Information tables will include plans to work with Earlston on a formal twinning with Cappella Maggiore in northern Italy; the Public Park/health centre project; Burnmill; a youth project in association with YouthBorders; the Development Trust Energy Conservation Project; plans for a community/information centre based in the Public Hall; ideas for the use of the registrar’s office and the former jail, and other matters of a more general nature, including a comments book .