Firm to appeal against rejection of Borders wind farm bid

The Harwood Estate site being eyed up to host a 12-turbine wind farm.
The Harwood Estate site being eyed up to host a 12-turbine wind farm.

An energy firm is to take its rejected bid to build a wind farm near Bonchester Bridge to the Scottish Government, it has emerged.

Its application to erect 12 wind turbines on the Harwood Estate was thrown out by Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee last November.

The bid to create what was to be called Pines Burn wind farm had divided opinion, 54 letters of objection having been tabled alongside 30 submissions of support during the planning process.

All six community councils affected – those at Southdean, Upper Teviotdale, Hobkirk, Newcastleton, Denholm and Hawick – were against the proposals, however.

Rejecting their officers’ advice, councillors on the planning committee concluded that the seven 149.9m-high turbines and five to stand at 130m high would have an “adverse impact on the landscape, as well as having an impact on nearby historical sites”.

Now Leeds-based Energiekontor UK has submitted a plea for a rethink to the Scottish Government’s planning and environmental appeals division. That appeal will be considered within the next few months.

Defending the plans at November’s planning committee, Energiekontor project manager Duncan Taylor said: “This unique application is the only one in your area that has ever had the support of your planning service.

“If approved, we will build Pines Burn as a completely subsidy-free wind farm, something we would be immensely proud of.”

Speaking after the rejection, he added: “We are understandably disappointed by the decision. We are now considering our options.”