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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 14:55 GMT
Wind farm approved after inquiry
Computer generated view of Toddleburn wind farm
Work will get under way at Toddleburn later this year
A 40m wind farm at Toddleburn in the Borders has been given planning consent following a public inquiry.

Scottish Borders Council rejected the plans near Lauder in 2005, but the 36MW development has now been granted.

The authority's head of planning, Brian Frater, said it was disappointed by the inquiry reporter's decision.

Work will start on the 12-turbine project by Scottish and Southern Energy later this year. It is expected to be operational by 2009.

SSE bought the project from I & H Brown in May 2006 - the same time as the public inquiry into the scheme concluded.

It is clear that reporters are attaching significant weight to meeting the Scottish Executive's renewables targets when determining applications
Brian Frater
Scottish Borders Council

The approval was welcomed by chief executive Ian Marchant.

"I am pleased that the Toddleburn wind farm has received consent," he said.

"We will work to ensure that the construction work at Toddleburn is carried out efficiently and with minimal disturbance to the local community."

However, he criticised the "very difficult" and "time-consuming" process to get planning consent.

"Reform is essential if Scotland's renewable energy ambitions are to be fulfilled," he said.

Unacceptable impact

SBC had opposed the plan and said that while it was generally supportive of renewable energy, it felt the impact of this scheme was "unacceptable".

"This is the second occasion in recent months that inquiry reporters have overturned council decisions on wind farms in the Scottish Borders," said Mr Frater.

"It is clear that reporters are attaching significant weight to meeting the Scottish Executive's renewables targets when determining applications.

"The council hopes that equal weight will be given to protecting the area's rich natural heritage and landscape when determining future appeals."

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