Community cash on cards if eight turbine wind farm given go-ahead

Community Wind Farm. Endurance E-3120 50kW wind turbine Overlangshaw Farm
Community Wind Farm. Endurance E-3120 50kW wind turbine Overlangshaw Farm

A WIND farm developer is claiming its eight turbine planning bid between Selkirk and Hawick could generate more than £2 million for the surrounding villages.

ABO Wind submitted plans to construct the Barrel Law farm near Roberton, close to the approved but yet to be constructed 10-turbine Langhope Rig site.

The Livingston firm says the turbines would be 125 metres high at the blade’s tip and generate 24 megawatts of power in total.

And if successful, ABO Wind are claiming it would benefit local households, with the scheme within the boundaries of Lillesleaf, Ashkirk and Midlem Community Council.

A spokesman said: “To ensure that the local community gains direct benefit from the Barrel Law Wind Farm, ABO Wind proposes to contribute an annual payment to a community benefit fund.

“The fund would be allocated to support local projects and, based on the final size of an approved project, could result in well over £2 million being invested locally during the life of the wind farm.”

But one concern for users of the B711 – which will be used to access the site – may be ABO Wind’s prediction that during construction as many as 30 heavy goods vehicles will be using the road every day to reach Barrel Law. But in a statement to Scottish Borders Council, the company said: “Traffic levels during the operational phase of the development will be negligible, and during decommissioning will be less than predicted for the construction phase.”

The report added that no significant affects would occur on bird species such as black grouse that are found on the site, currently used for sheep grazing and game shooting, or the nearby Alemoor West Loch.

But it admits the wind farm would affect the landscape view up to three miles away.

Selkirkshire councillor Vicky Davidson said: “I doubt you would be able to see it from Ettrickbridge or Ashkirk and definitely not from Midlem or Lillesleaf unless you were high up.

“The council recently drew up a few areas where you might still be able to put a wind farm and I think this is not far from one of these areas.

“I should think the developers believe this site is less contentious than some others.”

ABO Wind held a public exhibition in Ashkirk last September and Roberton last month, ahead of their submission, and claimed 64 per cent of respondents approved of the development.

A decision from SBC is expected by mid-June.