Westruther wind farm application

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PLANS for a 10-turbine wind farm at Brunta Hill, just north-west of Westruther, have been lodged with Scottish Borders Council.

The application, from PNE Wind UK, which has offices in Edinburgh and Brighton, comes 11 months after the company opened discussions with the four affected community councils.

TheSouthern understands a community benefit dividend of £5,000 per installed megawatt, rising to £6,000 after 10 years and £7,000 after 20 years has been offered – well in excess of the current going rate.

Each turbine will be rated at 2.3MW and have a maximum blade tip height of 126.5m with an installed capacity of 23MW, enough to power 13,400 homes.

Gilbert Stevenson, Brunta Hill project manager, said: “PNE has listened to the views of the local community and worked hard to design a scheme that takes these views into account. We believe that Brunta Hill is a low impact wind farm, sensitively designed and appropriately sized for this location.”

The company says its has engaged with key stakeholders and has held a number of public exhibitions to gather the views of the local community and interested parties on the proposal.

The community benefit offer has come after discussions with the Brunta Hill liason group, comprising representatives of the community councils of Lauderdale, Channelkirk and Oxton, Gordon and Westruther, and Longformacus.

Detailed studies and surveys have been carried out by specialists to assess the suitability of the site and the environmental impact assessment addressing issues such as visual impact, noise, traffic and access, has been prepared.

More information on the project, including the non-technical summary of the environmental statement, can be found at www.bruntahillwind.co.uk

SBC’s planning committee is unlikely to determine the bid until next year.