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Enough is enough say villages to more windfarms

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Enough is enough say villages to more windfarms

VILLAGERS in two of the area’s smallest settlements are appealing to the Scottish Government not to allow any more windfarms in their neighbourhood.

Many residents in Middlebie and Waterbeck are strongly against plans for two more developments at Hopsrig and Loganhead – which would bring the local total to eight.

And their community council is writing to the government with concerns and to point out that there are already six developments within a ten kilometres radius of both settlements.

Although restrictions mean they have been unable to hold an open meeting to discuss both schemes, members have written to all residents and used social media to seek views.

Group secretary Anne Laird said: “The response has been unanimously against the proposed plans as they are presented.”

Concerns include the magnitude of both sites which will include some of the tallest onshore turbines in the UK; fears it will result in the erection of super pylons; noise impact on nearby homes; damage to eco systems; the creation of a microclimate; the effect on wildlife habitats; and implications for tourism.

Particular worries have been raised the impact on the rural road network from the construction traffic.

Mrs Laird said: “Our rural road network is not designed to deal with the heavy plant traffic necessitated during the construction of windfarms. We have learnt through experience that our local road network cannot cope and the restitution works that are always promised before the construction are never satisfactorily delivered.

“We are living with the legacy of poorly restored road surfaces following the installation of Ewehill and current works at Solwaybank and Crossdykes.”

In the case of Hopsrig, the community council are especially concerned about the height of the planned turbines and want local views to be taken on board by the developers.

And they say the scoping report ‘presents a lot of disparate information with little in the way of interpretation or summary’ and that it is difficult for the ordinary lay reader to understand.

Furthermore, they are disappointed at the lack of a landscape visualisation panorama illustrating how vast the turbines will be and say: “The scoping report underplays the visual impact this proposed development will have.”

In their objection letter to the Scottish Government the group stresses the existing amount of windfarm activity in their area, saying: “The Middlebie and Waterbeck Community Council area already has a significant number of operational and consented windfarms – currently six.

“There are also three further proposed windfarms which are currently within the planning/scoping process and within 10 km of our locality – Faw Side Wind Farm 45 turbines @ 200m, Callisterhall Wind Farm 25 turbines @ 220 metre and Westerkirk Wind Farm 20 turbines @ 220 metres.

“If all these windfarms are consented and constructed then our rural landscape will have 208 wind turbines within a 10km radius. As a community, we feel that it is unfair that we have to carry the burden of yet more wind power generation, especially at this scale and in this context. The local area is saturated with wind turbines; the density of the current operational and consented developments (92 turbines in total) we feel is enough.

“The community wants to strongly express its objections and believe absolutely that we do not need another large-scale wind turbine development.”

Mrs Laird is encouraging any other residents in the Middlebie or Waterbeck areas who wish to express their opposition or support to the new schemes to contact her before January 15.

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