EXCLUSIVE: Borders councillors play ‘follow my leader’ letter to kick out LE20 Ltd wind farm plan over noise fears

Howpark wind farm
Howpark wind farm

EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News

A new wind farm in the Borders has been rejected by local councillors – despite it being recommended for approval by their own planning officials.

Councillors rejected the plan for and eight-turbine wind park on land north of Howpark Farm house, near Grantshouse on the main A1 carriageway to England.

Each wind farm in the development by LE20 Ltd, submitted by Farningham Planning Ltd  will have a maximum turbine blade of 100 metres, but councillors were primarily concerned with the adverse impact of turbine noise.

And Borders councillors have stipulated that no development shall commence until precise details of the actual turbine intended for use at the site are submitted to, and approved in writing – including a technical specification which includes noise output.

LE20 Ltd are also required to provide precise technical details of the turbine type and manufacture prior to any development work.

On 18 April 2017 Michael Cook, Leader of Borders Council, wrote to fellow councillors urging them to vote against the Howpark wind farm application.

In this letter, Cllr Cook said: “While taken individually, it might be argued (as per the Officer report) that ‘on balance, that the scale of change is not so significant as to warrant refusal’.

“But when you add the noise impacts on residential receptors to the visual, cumulative and sequential impact, then the effect of all these elements is to take the <LE20 Ltd> application from adverse to unacceptable.”

A spokesman for LE20 Ltd’s Edinburgh-based planning agent said last night: “This decision is not surprisingly but it still very disappointing.

“We were not aware of the round-robin letter from the leader of Borders council and we shall definitely be appealing this decision.

 

  • Meanwhile, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (part of Perth-based utility SSE) has withdrawn its plan to construct and operate a new 132 kilovolt (kV) connection from the consented Tom Nan Clach wind farm, to the consented Tomatin substation, near Garbole.

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