By Kathryn Wylie
A Borders village is taking on the Scottish Government over its decision to
approve a controversial wind farm.
Heriot Community Council is taking legal action against a reporter’s
decision to overturn Scottish Borders Council’s rejection of the proposed
Gilston wind farm.
The local authority turned down Forsa Energy’s application to build seven
turbines on land north west of Gilston Farm due to landscape impact converns.
However, that decision, backed by Heriot Community Council, was overruled
by a Scottish Government reporter in February after it was judged that the
cumulative impact with the nearby Dun Law wind farm would be acceptable.
Community council chairman John Williams said: “There are a number of
matters that appear to be flawed, or even simply omitted from
consideration, in the reporter’s decision to the point where legal advice
confirms that the decision should be challenged.
“Having considered everything carefully, the community council has decided
to take legal action against the decision, with backing from concerned
“That action has just been lodged with the courts. Nothing is certain in
such legal disputes, least of all small communities challenging the
The regional council can’t discuss that ongoing battle, but in the midst of
it all, it has received another planning application for a wind farm at
Energiekontor wants to build eight 130m turbines just off of the A7 at
Falahill, and the community council, representing Heriot’s 250-odd
population, is debating how it will respond to the application, having been
given an extension by council planners to gather views.
Mr Williams added: “We have been having wind farm applications of some sort
in this area for the last 10 years or so. There are some people that are
very pro-wind power and some that are very anti.
“The thing about this site is that it is on the top of the area called Wull
Muir, around 3km north-west of the village. Because of that height, it will
be quite visible from other sites within the village.”
“Given that this is a planning response, we are trying to gather views then
come to a conclusion whether we should back it or not.”