Page last updated at 00:56 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

Twists and turns of 22 turbines

Wind turbine
It took over a year for a final decision on the Drone Hill plan

The tale of the 22 turbines at Drone Hill in the Borders is typical of wind farm developments across Scotland.

The PM Renewables project near Coldingham was turned down by Scottish Borders Council in November 2007.

Its development and building control committee rejected the scheme due to concerns over its location and the impact on tourism.

Nearby residents who had formed an action group to protest against the plans had won a first victory.

It was not, however, the end of the road for the Berwickshire plans.

What we have here is yet another industrial wind farm which lacked local support being located in the Borders but serving the Central Belt
John Lamont MSP

Three months later it was confirmed that PM Renewables had appealed against the decision and that a public inquiry would be held.

Another six months down the road that hearing got under way.

Eight days were set aside at Coldingham village hall to hear arguments for and against the project.

However, all did not run smoothly with this particular inquiry.

It was found that documents available for public inspection had been put in the wrong library.

A member of the public pointed out they had been placed in Duns when they should have been about 12 miles away in Eyemouth.

It was enough to halt the inquiry after four days and force it to adjourn for five weeks to allow people "the best opportunity to assess the information".

The hearing was reconvened and in November 2008, a little more than a year after the original rejection, the reporter's verdict was delivered.

Much to the disappointment of local campaigners, the first decision was overturned and the turbines were approved.

Balanced response

Reporter Malcolm Mahony said he was satisfied the scheme was in accordance with the development plan for the area.

It was not a decision which Tory MSP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire John Lamont appreciated.

"What we have here is yet another industrial wind farm which lacked local support being located in the Borders but serving the Central Belt," he said.

"Although I fully support the use of wind farms as part of a balanced response to our future energy needs, this particular proposal does not benefit the Borders and I am disappointed by the reporter's decision."

Nonetheless, it left the way clear for this particular wind farm to go ahead.



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SEE ALSO
Wind turbine rejection overturned
26 Nov 08 |  South of Scotland
Library error halts wind inquiry
21 Aug 08 |  South of Scotland
Wind farm inquiry gets under way
12 Aug 08 |  South of Scotland
Turbine inquiries on the horizon
10 Jul 08 |  South of Scotland
Wind farm scheme gets thumbs down
12 Nov 07 |  South of Scotland

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