By Kirsty Smyth
Residents have vowed to fight plans for a major windfarm in a designated
regional scenic area near Teviothead.
Community Windpower revealed plans last year for a 45-turbine wind farm to
straddle the Borders-Dumfries and Galloway border at Faw Side.
The Cheshire-based developer wants to build the UK’s tallest onshore
windfarm at the site, six miles north of Langholm and 15 miles south west
The company says the scheme, capable of generating up to 315mw of green
electricity, would bring investment of around £256m into the region.
However, residents have baulked at the scale of the project, consisting of
40 200m-high turbines – four times the height of the Waterloo Monument at
Peniel Heugh near Jedburgh – with the remaining five engines to stand at 178m.
Following public exhibitions held in Teviothead, Bentpath, Langholm and
Ewes over the last fortnight, residents have formed the Faw Side Community
Group to fight the scheme.
Their concerns include the cumulative landscape impact that the tallest
onshore turbines in the country would have on the Langholm Hills regional
scenic area, including the upland glen and other landscapes of Eskdale and
the Ewes Water Valley and the heather moorland of the Southern Uplands.
Fears have also been raised about aviation lighting on top of the turbines,
water running off the hills, noise and flicker.
Group member Jan Little said: “The turbines will be on five properties –
Westerhall Estate, Bush of Ewes, Meikledale Lymieckeuch at Teviothead and
“The exhibitions the developer held gave no visuals of what it would look
like, so locals could not get a feel for the actual height and the impact
they are going to have on the local landscape.
“When asked at the meeting, their representative was unable to supply these.
“The proposals for these turbines also include a substation and entrance to
allow construction. When asked, the Community Windpower representative said
that the location of this had not yet been decided but that it looked like
it would be at the Teviothead end.”
Representatives of Community Windpower attended meetings of Langholm, Ewes
and Westerkirk and Upper Teviotdale and Borthwickwater community councils
earlier this week, but members said the detail they were seeking was still
Bob Francombe, chairman of Upper Teviotdale and Borthwickwater Community
Council, said: “The public exhibitions on Faw Side wind farm by the
developer were disappointing as the only new information available was the
reduction in the number of turbines from 49 to 45.
“The scoping report, which had been submitted over 12 months ago, was also
available at those exhibitions.
“At Monday night’s community council meeting, which was well attended by
members of the public, representatives from Community Windpower gave a
brief explanation of what stage they are at, but again no new information
“They took questions from the room and one of the main concerns was what
would happen to people’s private water supply when the work started on top
of the hills around Teviothead and Ewes.
“The representatives were unable to answer this, referring to the
independent company tasked with looking at the ecology of the area.
“Another area of concern was the traffic management plan and how the site
would be accessed by the large loads that a wind farm of this size would
“They stated that they were in talks with the Forestry Commission to use
the forestry roads from Eskdalemuir, so the majority of public roads in our
area would not be used.However, these talks are only at a very early stage
and nothing has been agreed as yet.
“It was pointed out to them that the road had not been completed through
the forestry as it had become a logistical nightmare with all the different
Nearby neighbours are also worried that the aviation lighting will impact
their homes at night.
They believe that, as the site is on a transatlantic flight path, the
developer has underestimated the frequency of air traffic over it.
“The lighting of the masts was not addressed at the meeting although they
had been at the presentations with Community Windpower, who stated that the
lights would be controlled by radar and switched on when aircraft were
approaching,” Mr Francombe said. “However, it is more likely that they will
be permanently lit as the masts are all over 149.5m high.”
Community Windpower expects to formally submit its proposals to the energy
consent unit of the Scottish Government in May.