Public hearings on plans to extend the Crystal Rig wind farm project on
Lammermuir Hills are expected to be held at the start of next year.
The plans to move into phase four of the project with a further 11 wind
turbines, some of which will be up to 200 metres high, have sparked
objections from East Lothian Council, local communities and the Ministry of
Defence.
The MoD is expected to update the parties involved when a Scottish
Government pre-examination meeting is held later this month.
The Scottish Reporter, who is looking at the plans by Fred Olsen
Renewables, has invited representatives of both East Lothian and Scottish
Borders Councils, who cover land straddled by the project, to a meeting on
October 22.
They will then decide when public hearings will be held and where with
parties asked to check their availability towards the end of January into
March,
The pre-examination meeting will be held in Duns and is not expected to
hear any evidence from the applicants or interested parties.
However the Reporter has said an update from the MoD on their concerns
about the project will be presented to the meeting.
The MoD raised concerns about the impact of the turbines on its air defence
radar at Brizlee Wood.
It said the RAF was concerned at the loss of a large area of surveillance.
Last year the MoD said trials had revealed two offshore wind farms had had
an unexpected detrimental effect on one of its remote radars.
East Lothian Council has lodged objections to plans to extend the Crystal
Rig wind farm project over plans to put red lights on top of them to meet
Civil Aviation Authority regulations.
The size of the proposed turbines have already raised objections from local
residents who said some would be as high as “the towers of the new
Queensferry Crossing”.
East Lothian Council said the lights would be as visible as the cranes at
the St James Centre in the city centre are from Garleton Hills in the heart
of East Lothian.
Objecting to the need to put aviation lights on the new turbines because of
their height, the council said: ” A good example for red lighting when
views from East Lothian are the lights on the cranes at the St James Centre.
“These show how clearly red light travels and that the intensity of the
light and weather conditions makes little difference to the distance it can
be viewed at.
“The lighting here is easily visible from the Garleton Hills, a similar
distance as the proposed Crystal Rig turbines are from Tranent.”
Representatives from Mayshiel and Cranshaws Estates have already lodged
objections saying the inclusion of 200-metre-high turbines in the latest
plans should be very carefully considered.
Comparing them to the height of the Queensferry Crossing towers, they said:
“It is a stalking horse prelude to the proposed re-powering of the early
phases of Crystal Rig with turbines of this height.”
The latest phase of the Crystal Rig project will take the number of
turbines on the site to more than 100.

 

 


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