Hawick’s stance on wind farm decided

The proposed site for Pines Burn wind farm.
The proposed site for Pines Burn wind farm.

Hawick Community Council has become the latest organisation to declare opposition to the proposed Pines Burn wind farm near Bonchester Bridge.

Members this week discussed the pros and cons of the application by Leeds-based Energiekontor UK to erect 12 turbines on the Harwood Estate and although split in opinion, they made a majority decision to object to the plans.

Vice-chairman Cameron Knox presented an overview of the facts to members, emphasising the height and size of the development. He said: “These turbines will be some of the biggest in the Borders. It is a huge construction.

“The main points here are the height of the turbines and the construction traffic going towards the site.”

He also warned that the culmulative effect of multiple potential schemes could turn the area into a “turbine valley” should they all be approved.

Further issues raised by community councillors and members of the public included the transportation of turbine traffic through Hawick and the integrity of the company’s drawings and designs.

Community councillors also took a dim view of the company’s local profile within its application.

They said the profile, highlighting the area’s falling population, negative crime statistics and loss of traditional industry, as an overly negative assessment, described by chairwoman Marion Short as “patronising and offensive”.

Officiated by Hawick and Hermitage councillor George Turnbull, a ballot ended up seven votes to three against the plans.

Chairwoman Marion Short said: “I know it is an emotive topic, and we all have views on it. The community council will be responding on the basis of a majority decision here.”

The application has now been considered by all of the relevant community councils, with Hobkirk, Jed Valley, Denholm and Southdean community councils expressing their unanimous opposition over the last six weeks.