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Turbine delay 'frustration' grows

19 March 09 11:14 GMT

A community council in the Borders has raised concerns about the time being taken to announce the outcome of a wind farm public inquiry in its area.

The hearing into the 48-turbine Fallago Rig proposals in the Lammermuir Hills was held more than a year ago.

A Scottish Government reporter made her recommendations last August but a decision has yet to be announced.

MSP John Lamont said locals were becoming "increasingly frustrated" at the delay in delivering a verdict.

A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed recommendations for the site had been received in August 2008.

He said the government was aware that discussions had been taking place between developers North British Windpower and the Ministry of Defence over the potential impact on nearby radar.

However, he denied that ministers were keen to approve the plans in order to meet renewable energy targets.

Cranshaws, Ellemford and Longformacus Community Council has expressed anger at the time taken to deliver a decision.

Chairman David Lochhead hopes to secure a meeting with Energy Minister Jim Mather to discuss the situation.

The council believes the delay is a sign that Scottish ministers disagree with the reporter's opinion.

Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Mr Lamont said he had also written to Mr Mather asking why such a delay has occurred.

He said: "I have been contacted by a number of constituents who are becoming increasingly frustrated with the delay in publishing the reporter's findings."

He said there were concerns about the time being taken and the "transparency of the process".

'Lengthy process'

North British Windpower director Andrew Shaw said that new information appearing after public inquiries was common and that talks had been held with the MoD.

He said: "If there is anything to say that is relevant to the public inquiry then there is no doubt people will be told.

"There are no secret deals taking place and new evidence often emerges after public inquiries."

Mr Shaw said he understood the frustrations at the delay in publishing a Scottish Government decision.

He added: "It is a lengthy process and there is no perfect solution.

"People take their time to make up their minds."

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