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New windfarm will pay for 500 new homes

The windfarm is close to Cockburnspath Credit: ITV Border

The UK's first windfarm developed by a housing association to fund new social rental homes launches in the Borders today.

The Hoprigshiels Community Windfarm at Cockburnspath will supply energy to the National Grid giving Berwickshire Housing Association funding to build 500 new properties.

Berwickshire Housing Association and Community Energy Scotland have managed the project forward through a joint venture company, Berwickshire Community Renewables.

The Hoprigshiels windfarm comprises three 2.5MW wind turbines.

RSPB welcomes rejection of wind farm plans

Wind turbine at another location in Scotland Credit: Press Association

RSPB Scotland has welcomed Dumfries and Galloway's Council's rejection of plans for a new wind farm near Sanquhar.

The council's planning committee today turned down an application from Community Windpower Ltd for 14 turbines on the Spango Windfarm.

RSPB Scotland said the proposed development, which would have been located on part of the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area (SPA), threatened to damage an internationally important wildlife site that's home to birds including the hen harrier and short-eared owl.

Planners at Dumfries and Galloway Council had recommended refusal for the proposal following a number of outstanding objections, including those from RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

"This is extremely good news. This decision sends out a very strong message about the importance of protecting Scotland’s wildlife heritage.

"The wind farm would have resulted in significant damage to an area that is truly spectacular for wildlife, and an SPA, one of the highest environmental designations in Europe. This is clearly not an appropriate place for a wind farm. Renewables must be delivered, but not at any price.

"We would be happy to work with Community Windpower Ltd to identify other more suitable places where renewables could be developed without significantly damaging a designated site.”

– Chris Rollie, RSPB Scotland


Campaigners hit out at Borders windfarm plans

Anti-turbine campaigners in the Borders say proposals to revamp planning rules for windfarm sites do not go far enough.

The Scottish Government says they are considering changing the rules so turbines would have to be built further away from towns and villages.

They are also considering outlawing them in national parks and scenic areas.

They want to hear what the public thinks of the plans

"Sadly now we have 424 large scale turbines constructed or consented that affect the Scottish Borders - and many hundreds more advancing through the planning process, we have much less wild landscape left to protect in the Scottish Borders.

"The proposals look helpful on paper but with the Scottish Ministers still keen to consent virtually any scheme and developers ever eager to harvest the subsidies I expect it will make little difference.

"There is already a 2km presumption against development close to settlements in place and yet we are facing schemes today where residents would be 900m away from huge turbines."

– Mark Rowley, anti-turbine protestor


Cumbria involved in Windfarm protest events

Windfarms in Cumbria Credit: ITV Border

A national body opposing windfarms wil be launched in London today and events supporting it will be held across the UK including in Cumbria. More than 30 wind energy schemes have already been consented in the county and a further 45 have been proposed.

More than 15 opposition groups have been created in Cumbria against wind turbines.Representatives and supporters of wind turbine opposition groups from across Cumbria will meet county councillors in Kendal to restate their opposition to win farms.