Plans for a wind farm comprising 13 turbines on Highlee Hill, near
Chesters, have sparked no fewer than 117 letters of objection – plus two
comments in support.

The proposal, submitted by Renewable Energy Systems, includes proposals to
put up 11 turbines measuring 176m high to their tips, making them taller
than any others in the Borders, and two standing at 150m high.

Associated works and infrastructure including compounds, buildings and
tree-felling would also be needed.

The objection letters come from various community councils and individuals
living close to the site.

Denholm and District Community Council gives several reasons for its
“unanimous and resolute opposition”, namely visual impact and the potential
effects on tourism, the local economy, roads and wildlife.

It also raises questions over the decommissioning of the wind farm in 30
years’ time.

Another objection advanced is the effect of aircraft warning lights on the
turbines on the neighbouring dark sky tourist attraction in
Northumberland’s Kielder Forest.

However, the company insists the proposal would be beneficial to the community.

“A wind farm at Highlee Hill could provide significant benefits to the
local economy,” said Ruth Elder, a development manager with RES.

“We estimate it will bring £3.6m of inward investment to the area in the
form of jobs, employment and the use of local services, alongside around
£575,000 annually in business rates.

“The project has the potential to provide sufficient renewable energy to
meet the average demand of more than 30,000 homes, and we’ve already
undertaken a range of engagement activities to design a project which, we
believe, reflects the best balance of economic, social and environmental
considerations.”

The statutory expiry date of the proposal is Monday, October 31, and no
date has yet been set for it to go before planners.


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