Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 12:09 UK

Turbines could power pub takeover

Crook Inn
The fund could help to support the community buyout of the Crook Inn

A charitable fund linked to a wind farm proposal could be used to help locals buy a historic Borders pub.

Planning officials have recommended approval for Novera Energy's plans to build 11 turbines between two tributaries of the River Tweed.

If the project proceeds the firm would put more than 40,000 annually into the Glenkerie Windfarm Trust over 25 years.

The local community has suggested the funds could be used to help them buy and run the Crook Inn at Tweedsmuir.

Talks have already started with the company with a view to assisting the project.

The historic pub - which dates back to the 17th Century - has been the subject of a lengthy planning battle.

Its owner wants to convert the property into housing.

That proposal was rejected by the Tweeddale Area Committee but was subsequently the subject of an appeal.

It will now be decided by a public hearing in Peebles later this year.

However, local residents have formed the Tweedsmuir Community Company and claim they could run the property as a business.

Visual impact

They were granted a right to buy the property by the Scottish Government earlier this year.

It would allow the group first refusal on the inn, at an independently valued price, if it is put up for sale.

Now talks are being held to see if the turbine development could help fund that move.

The Glenkerie wind farm site lies between Broughton and Biggar.

Concerns have been raised about the environmental and visual impact of the proposal.

However, Scottish Borders Council planners believe these can be addressed by a string of conditions and have recommended approval of the project.


SEE ALSO
Final round of pub struggle looms
06 Aug 08 |  South of Scotland
Group get right-to-buy famous pub
20 Jun 08 |  South of Scotland
Historic pub plan appeal lodged
04 Jun 08 |  South of Scotland

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