Bid is made to extend the life of a Borders windfarm

A bid has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council to extend the lifespan of a Borders windfarm by five years.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 2:37 pm
Pines Burn Wind Farm.
Pines Burn Wind Farm.

If the application by Energiekontor to the council’s Planning and Building Standards Committee on Monday is successful the Pines Burn Windfarm, south west of Lurgiescleuch, near Hawick, would extend its operational life from 25 to 30 years.

The original windfarm application failed to win over Borders councillors and they rejected the scheme in November 2017, saying it would have an adverse impact on the landscape and nearby historical sites.

But reporter Malcolm Mahony overturned the locally-elected members decision, stating that the project’s benefits outweighed any impacts on landscape or tourism.

When members meet next week they will be recommended to agree the new application.

A report to the committee states: “There is a valid consent for the development of a wind farm at Pines Burn that can lawfully operate for a period of 25 years.

"Extending the operational period of the wind farm for a further five years would allow for a 30-year operation period in total.

"This is commensurate with the duration of consent for other existing wind farms within the Scottish Borders.

"Since consent was originally granted for the development of Pines Burn wind farm, there has been no significant shift in policy or other material changes that would require that the original appeal decision to be re-examined.

"The extension of the operational life of Pines Burn wind farm by five years would be consistent with national energy and national planning policy.

"It would extend the wind farm’s contribution to renewable energy generation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions without resulting in any significantly adverse environmental effects or other material considerations which would conflict with the current local development plan.”

Energiekontor had initially wanted to build seven 158.5m-high turbines but agreed to reduce that height after Scottish Natural Heritage raised concerns about the aviation safety lighting that would be required.