Cummings Hill wind monitoring mast approved

A RENEWABLE energy company has been granted planning permission to erect a meteorological testing mast between Bonchester Bridge and the Carter Bar.

There were 63 objections to the bid from Infinis Energy Services, which has given Scottish Borders Council advance notice of its plans for 13 giant wind turbines at Cummings Hill, between Southdean Kirk and the A68.

Local planning officer Andrew Evans urged approval of the bid for the 60metre met mast, claiming it would not have a significant long-term impact on the landscape.

“This conclusion must not be taken as an indication of the acceptability of a wind farm development on this site,” wrote Mr Evans.

But Councillor Nicholas Watson said: “I would normally be hesitant about opposing a temporary testing mast but this one, in such an open and unspoilt location, should be resisted. In my view it goes against our structure plan policy of maintaining the character of our landscape.”

Local councillor Jim Brown (Jedburgh and District) felt Infinis should be able to assess wind speeds without such a large structure.

Mr Watson’s motion to refuse permission was lost by 10 votes to 2.