‘Hysteria’ surrounds turbine proposal

A LOCAL businessman has defended plans to build a 74-metre wind turbine near Denholm.

And Jim Shanks, from Standhill Dairy and Cheese Farm, has expressed his disappointment at the “hysteria” surrounding the proposals.

The single turbine would generate around 1,800 MWh of green electricity every year, enough to meet the annual electricity demand of approximately 382 local homes, although it is intended to use some of the electricity generated to supply the farm business.

Objectors claim it would be higher than the nearby Minto Hills and twice the height of the Waterloo and Scott Monuments.

But Mr Shanks told the Hawick News this week: “I think this is an incredibly positive story and it means that, not only can we produce food for a huge amount of people, but we will also be able to produce energy as well. We’re just harvesting a different crop.

“I’m very disappointed with the myths and hysteria being spread about this. It would just sit down in the back of the woods. I wish people would investigate it more. I’d be more than happy to show people the reality.”

An environmental report from agents The Greenspan Agency, states: “The proposal has been carefully designed to minimise visual impact, while harnessing renewable energy potential”. Standhill Farm was described as an “ideal site” and the visual impact was found to be “very minimal”.

Comments on the proposals, which had drawn 20 objections and four intimations of support on the Scottish Borders Council website this week, must be completed by next Thursday.

The overwhelming feeling among those in opposition to the plans is the effect the development would have on the surrounding area.

The application has also raised a holding objection from the Ministry of Defence which claims the noise generated from the turbine would interfere with the Eskdalemuir Seismological Station, some 34.88km away, although a review is currently under way and Mr Shanks is confident this can be overturned.