Ill wind is blowing over turbine site proposal

A ROW is brewing in Liddesdale after a renewable energy company announced plans for a major wind farm.

Infinis Wind Holdings Ltd has already received planning consent from Scottish Borders Council to site a temporary meteorological monitoring (met) mast at Windy Edge near Hermitage Castle. And it is due to submit a full scoping report to the council over its plans for up to 20 turbines, each 125 metres high, at the site, which is on Braidlee and Sundhope farms, about seven miles north east of Newcastleton.

Last week, there was a shock in store for Malcolm McGregor who attended a “pre-consultation” meeting in Newcastleton, called by Infinis to discuss its Windy Edge proposal. “I was there as secretary of the Liddesdale Heritage Association, but was taken aback to discover that my own farm at Whitropefoot was included in the site of the proposed development,” said Mr McGregor.

He went on: “The meeting was not open to the general public, but to local groups, including my association and the Newcastleton Business and Tourism Forum. I felt a clear conflict of interest, given that it appeared some of the 10 turbines in the area of Whitrope Edge would be less than a quarter-of-a-mile from my home.”

Mr McGregor said his association was now preparing an official response for national tourism promotion agency VisitScotland, which, he hopes, will object to a windfarm in “such a prominent, unspoilt location”.