Opposition to wind farm mounts

Chesters.
Chesters.

Dozens of people turned out at a public meeting last week to express their opposition to plans for a controversial wind farm south of Hawick.

Around 75 residents of Southdean, Hobkirk, Lanton, Jed Valley, Denholm, Hawick and beyond gathered at Southdean Village Hall at Chesters to consider plans for 13 giant wind turbines near Highlee Hill.

It follows the submission to Scottish Borders Council of a planning application by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) for the wind power plant next to Lustruther Farm.

All but two of the proposed turbines would be 176m tall from base to blade tip – the tallest ever erected in the Borders.

The 35 residents of Southdean in attendance at the meeting, called by community councillors, were unequivocal in their opposition to the planning bid.

Meeting chairman Philip Kerr said to construct the site would need a requirement for blasting, and very little information had been received that would allow residents to understand the consequences of that.

He said: “There will be over 70,000 vehicle movements, with over 500 a day at the peak construction time.

“While the exact routes are not yet declared, all are concerned at the impact this will have on the road network as well as impacting on the sub-structures of properties – particularly old buildings – situated next to the road.”

Hawick and Denholm councillor Watson McAteer added: “The large turnout at Southdean Community Council highlights the worries and concerns the local residents have to the threat being posed by an overproliferation of wind farms.

“The Scottish Government must listen and act to reassure those who are being left to feel very vulnerable, as well as safeguarding an area of outstanding natural beauty.”