A planning appeal for eight wind turbines near Roberton has been dismissed
by a Scottish Government-appointed reporter.

The Barrel Law scheme for 125m-high turbines was rejected by Scottish
Borders Council in March 2013, but developers ABO Wind UK appealed that
decision.

On Tuesday, Michael Cunliffe issued his judgement, ruling that the wind
farm’s contribution towards renewable electricity targets and reduced
carbon emissions did not outweigh its “unacceptable adverse impacts on the
landscape and on aviation”.

Mr Cunliffe said the turbines would “significantly compromise the safe and
effective use of the Deadwater Fell PSR (Primary Surveillance Radar)” and
therefore the safe use of airspace north of RAF Spadeadam managed by RAF
air traffic controllers.

In his decision notice, Mr Cunliffe added: “Alemoor Reservoir has
recreational importance for anglers and walkers. There is a sense of
tranquillity which would be lost if the landscape were dominated by large
moving turbine blades.

“The wind farm would intrude an industrial feature into a peaceful rural
setting, and diminish the enjoyment of the reservoir and its surrounding
area by recreational users.”

The reporter went on: “I recognise that Barrel Law would not introduce an
entirely new feature to the landscape, since 10 slightly smaller turbines
are already being built at Langhope Rig.

“However, while the landscape does not enjoy protected status, I regard it
as an attractive area of local importance, and consider its landscape
character would be seriously damaged by the scheme.”

Duncan Scott, project manager for ABO Wind UK, said: “We are, of course,
extremely disappointed with the outcome of the appeal. We believe Barrel
Law is a very good location for a wind farm and we worked very hard over
two years on the design submitted, confident it met all relevant planning
and design criteria.

“While the decision to refuse is clear, we are at a loss to understand how
the factors relevant to our application were balanced in reaching the
conclusion.

“Taking all factors into account, we believe the planning balance was
strongly in favour of allowing Barrel Law to proceed.”


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