Turbine trial went ‘according to plan’

The eagerly-awaited Langhope Rig wind turbine trial run passed through both Denholm and Hawick without major incident.

But locals are warning that further assurances are needed before delivery of parts and materials commences later this year.

High Street hairdresser and by-election candidate Harry Stoddart visited Denholm on Tuesday and watched the 15-minute journey through the village, and said that while he saw no major issues, locals are anxious and problems could arise if emergency vehicles needed access.

Mr Stoddart added: “I can see problems if cars are parked on corners and perhaps double yellow lines should be considered in future.

“I’m concered that emergency vehicles may be hindered getting to the village and I do understand the depth of feeling locally.”

And Minto Hills Conservaton Group member Anna Dickson added: “A lot of people here are clearly concerned about these movements, not least because they may well be precursors to similar haulage of parts for proposed wind farms at Birneyknowe and Highlee Hill.

“The vehicles are very long, so as to be able to carry the 40-metre lengths, but the turbines themselves at Langhope Rig will be almost three times that length and those planned for Birneyknowe and Highlee
Hill appear to be even taller than that. These are mega-giants compared to those on Soutra”.

Hawick photographer Lesley Fraser, who watched the vehicle’s progress to the Sandbed, said: “The vehicle took a good five minutes to get over the Tower Knowe and Sandbed and it burst the lights in the road for the keep left sign which had been removed the other day.”

And one local who watched the vehicle at Martinshouse said: “It was fairly straightforward. And the bridge crossing seemed to go to plan without any issues.

“It was a case of reversing into the area provided and then over the bridge and away.”

An SSE Renewables spokesperson said a further trial would take place and added: “The two-day trial run went according to plan.

“We would like to thank the communities involved for the their patience. The whole thing went well.”