Windfarm to get an airing

A PROPOSED windfarm in Peeblesshire will be discussed at Eddleston community council meeting on Wednesday.

Questionnaires are being sent out to local people and protesters are urging the public to attend the meeting at Eddleston Village Hall.

A first meeting to set up a forum for Peeblesshire communities wanting to buy into the planned six-turbine windfarm planned for Spurlens Rig south east of Leadburn took place last Thursday.

A Scottish Borders councillor and Eddleston, Howgate and Moorfoot community councillors talked to the developers, Lomond Energy, about the company’s offer for the communities to own a sixth of the development.

Lomond Energy director Steve Macken said: “The liaison forum has been established to discuss the possible community benefit outcomes from the proposed wind farm and the meeting facilitated a constructive, open dialogue on how the community can invest in a one-sixth share.

“Options for securing the initial investment were presented and the community councils have agreed to discuss them with their colleagues before the liaison forum re-convenes in April to continue these discussions.”

The company lodged plans for the six turbines 125m (410 feet) tall which will create 12-15MW with Scottish Borders Council last month. It says that if people in surrounding communities can raise the one-off cost of £700,000 for a share, they would make £120,000 a year and be the first local community in the Borders to have a direct stake in a wind farm.

But local people are concerned about the visual impact of the turbines and fear they would be too close to houses and endanger wildlife.

Pippa Dougherty of the Association to Protect the Environment at Leadburn said: “The community councils were there [on Thursday] to find out what was happening, not to take part in a forum.

“It was made clear to Lomond Energy that there would be no official involvement from Eddleston and Howgate community councils until their local communities’ views had been sought.”