An ill wind caused by power cables

The wind farm developers currently constructing Langhope Rig have vowed to put right any damage to local roads and verges.

The promise was made this week after concerns were raised that recent cable laying work at Calaburn, on the outskirts of Hawick, was not only causing disruption to residents – but also the countryside.

The issues have been created by the on-going work to connect the wind farm to the electricity grid along a section of road from Kippilaw to Whitehaughmoor – involving the laying of cables which travel overland, before going under the road to the sub station at Stirches. But local residents have met with a representative from SSE to vent their frustrations, complaining about poor signage for the diversion, the length of time being taken to complete the job, and the substantial damage which has been done to verges and hedges.

And local Councillor Watson McAteer has backed calls for the firm to hurry up, and clean up.

He stated: “The road closure notice and diversions in this area was initially planned for seven weeks, but it has been considerably extended due to slower than expected progress.

“Overall, there has been a lot of disruption to local residents and indeed those that like to walk or cycle the route. SSE need to speed up the project, and return the area to normal as soon as possible.”

He added: “I have been keeping an eye on this and have asked the council to examine the roadway and surroundings.”

But a spokesperson for SSE has apologised and also given assurances that any damage will be rectified, stating: “As part of our responsible and safe approach we have in place road closures to protect road users from contact with these grid works. We have a responsibility to repair any damage and to reinstate the roads and verges to the standard required by SBC. There will be an inspection by SBC before completion of the job, to ensure they are satisfied with the standard of our reinstatement. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Once completed, the Langhope Rig wind farm will generate enough electricity to power around 15,000 homes.