Fears of traffic problems in Hawick if Faw Side turbines approved

Some of the landscape south of Teviothead, where Community Windpower wants to build 45 turbines on a site straddling the Borders-Dumfries Galloway border.
Some of the landscape south of Teviothead, where Community Windpower wants to build 45 turbines on a site straddling the Borders-Dumfries Galloway border.

Hawick residents are being warned they must speak up in order to halt wind farm plans that could bring hundreds of abnormal loads through the town’s streets.

Community Windpower’s plans for 45 turbines at Faw Side, four miles north of Langholm, could result in 315 abnormal loads travelling through Hawick, if approved.

But since the site is a good 11 miles south-west of Hawick, the town’s community council will not automatically be briefed on the plans.

Last week Philip Kerr, chairman of Southdean Community Council, warned his counterparts and around 200 Teries gathered in Hawick Town Hall that they must “be aware of the plans”.

“This is an issue that Hawick needs to look at,” he told the public meeting. “There are only three community councils in the Borders that are statutory consultees.

“You’ve got Newcastlon, Upper Liddesdale and Upper Teviot, but Hawick needs to be aware of the transport plans if it is approved, because there are all sorts of transport implications for the town.

“You need to be aware and potentially raise this issue.”

Hawick community councillor Cameron Knox, who was chairing a public meeting after the community council meeting closed, suggested the community council discuss the plans going forward.

The Cheshire-based developer wants to build the UK’s tallest onshore windfarm at the site consisting of 40 200m-high turbines – four times the height of the Waterloo Monument at Peniel Heugh near Jedburgh – with the remaining five engines to stand at 178m.

Of the 45 turbines, 12 would sit within the Borders, while the remaining 33 would fall over the Border into Dumfries and Galloway.

Representatives of Community Windpower attended meetings of Langholm, Ewes and Westerkirk and Upper Teviotdale and Borthwickwater community councils in March.

Residents heard that the turbines would be on five properties, being Westerhall Estate, Bush of Ewes, Meikledale Lymieckeuch at Teviothead and Stennieswater Forest, and have since formed the Faw Side Community Group to fight the scheme.

Community Windpower formally submitted its proposals to the energy consent unit of the Scottish Government last month.

The company says the scheme, capable of generating up to 315mw of green electricity, would bring investment of around £256m into the region.