Proposed Berwickshire windfarm could have ‘significant impact’ on historic sites

Wedderlie House, a popular wedding venue.Wedderlie House, a popular wedding venue.
Wedderlie House, a popular wedding venue.
A proposed windfarm near a Berwickshire village and close to a popular wedding venue could have a ‘significant adverse impact’ on nearby historic sites, a Historic Environment Scotland (HES) spokesperson has warned.

Scottish Borders Council’s planning section has received an application for the erection of wind turbines up to 149.9m to tip, two permanent switchgear housing units, a temporary access track, underground cabling and temporary crane on land north of Wedderlie House in Gordon.

HES was consulted over the plans and has raised concerns over the potential impact and advised SBC to carry out a ‘robust’ examination of the plans.

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A spokesperson says: “This site covers world heritage sites, scheduled monuments and their settings, category A-listed buildings and their settings, inventory gardens and designed landscapes, inventory battlefields and historic marine protected areas.

“Based on the information provided, we consider that there is a potential for significant and adverse impacts on the settings of nearby scheduled monuments.”

Sites nearby include Category-A Listed Wedderlie House wedding venue and four scheduled monuments – Evelaw Tower, Dirrington Little Law, Twinlaw Cairns and Dirrington Great Law.

A screening report request document submitted by the applicant, Cornwell-based CleanEarth, says: “The turbines are not proposed in a particularly sensitive or vulnerable location and are not located within any designated landscapes.

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“The site location was selected due to the abundance of natural wind resource in the area and due to an acceptance of large wind turbines as shown by the adjacent approved Fallago Rig Wind farm consisting of 48 wind turbines up to 125m to tip height.

“Within 15km of the proposed development there are no National Scenic Areas, Biospheres, Local Nature Reserves, National Nature Reserves, World Heritage Sites, country parks or designated battlefields.

“Beyond these distances impacts are unlikely to occur. The presenceof visual cover in the form of topographic contours, vegetation, and tree cover; and residential and other wind farm developments between the turbine site and these designations greatly reduces the visibility and visual impact of the proposed turbines on these designations.”