Dunion Hill, Jedburgh, threatened by proposals for a wind farm

No to wind power station on Dunion Hill!

LATEST NEWS

THE PUBLIC INQUIRY RE. NON-COMPLIANT WIND POWER STATION ABOVE JEDBURGH STARTS ON 20 JANUARY 2009

A Public Inquiry into a proposal for an 8-turbine wind power station on the Dunion Hill/Black Law Ridge above Jedburgh commences in Jedburgh Town Hall at 10:00 hrs on Tuesday 20th January 2009.

The Inquiry will be run by Mr. Malcolm Mahoney of the Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals. Mr. Mahoney is notorious for never having turned down any of the 5 no. windfarm appeals he has heard (1). Concerns have been expressed that the regular overriding of the wishes of local councils and of large numbers of people is undermining local democracy to the detriment of rural areas.

In September 2007 Scottish Borders Council, on the recommendation of its officials, unanimously refused planning permission for the proposal (2), submitted by Welsh company Windjen.

SBC, who have a good record of permitting wind power in appropriate locations, will be opposing the appeal. They refused planning permission because the proposal would breach key policies of the Structure and Local Plans by:
  • Being set on a prominent skyline to the detriment of countryside amenity
  • being out-of-scale with the landscape
  • not being within an enclosing landscape
  • having a significantly harmful visual impact on a lot of properties and landscapes
Dunion Hill Conservation Group (DHCG)(5) will bring 12 witnesses to the Inquiry to support SBCís position by giving evidence as to why the Development Plan should be upheld. Directors of local tourism businesses will explain the detrimental effect on tourism businesses in the Jedburgh area, and evidence will be led on water supplies, wild-life and plants, the precious landscape heritage of the area, and on walking cycling and horse-riding trails. DHCG witnesses will show how the benefits have been overstated and the disbenefits understated.

DHCG will show how the proposals are:
  • contrary to the recommendations of the Scottish Government report "The Economic Impacts of Windfarms on Scottish Tourism"(3)
  • contrary to the aims of the Cheviot Hills Heritage Project - a cross border conservation initiative (4)
  • and - if permitted - would prejudice the imminent review of Areas of Great Landscape Value - a new Local Plan commitment - for which Rulewater, Jedwater, and the area under Carter Bar are candidates.
Carter Bar is one of the most scenic and wild entrances to Scotland. The area between the Teviot and the Cheviots is threatened by windfarm proposals for Dunion Hill, Leithope Forest and Whitton Edge. This is in addition to the Langhope Rig power station, refusal of which was recently overturned at appeal. The Dunion Hill appeal, if allowed, will encourage other developers to propose yet more power stations.

DHCG believe that degrading the area with wind farms will change the perception of the whole of Scotland, not just the Jedburgh area, for visitors whose first experience of our country is this magnificent panorama.

NOTES:
  1. The windfarm refusals Mr. Mahoney has overturned are:
    • PPA-170-117 Carlesgill Hill, Langholm
    • PPA-140-357 Drone Hill, near Coldingham
    • PPA-340-459 Drumderg, Bridge of Cally, Blairgowrie
    • PPA 110-634 St Johns Hill, Stonehaven
    • PPA 250-790 Little Raith Farm Cardenden
  2. SBC Planning Ref 05/02336/FUL
  3. ISBN 978 0 7559 7005 6 (web only publication). The study was led by Dr Geoff Riddington, Caledonian Business School, Glasgow Caledonian University and GridEconomics Ltd.
  4. www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/lookingafter/projects/cheviothillsheritage. Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Natural Heritage are partners with Northumberland National Park and other authorities in this project, the first product of which will be a Heritage Atlas aimed at tourists and communities.
  5. www.dunionhill-conservation.org.uk
Contacts at Dunion Hill Conservation Group:
S Blackwood 01450 870870
A Bailey 01450 870213




As of the 6th August 2007 Scottish Borders Council have confirmed that they presently have 26 applications, or scoping opinions, for planning permission for wind farms in our area, including Dunion Hill and Black Law. [1]

These are situated all over the Borders from Peebles in the west to Soutra in the north to Granthouse (formerly 2 now 1) in the east and Dunion Hill in the south. In between are applications at Oxton(2), Cranshaws(2), Longformacus, Walkerburn, Stow, Lauder, Heriot, Selkirk, Coldingham, Innerleithen, Lammermuir Hills , Craik Forest, Leithope by the Carter Bar, Langhope Rig at Ashkirk, Middleton at Tweedsmuir and Whitton by Morebattle.

A complete map, which illustrates the scale and impact of these applications, can be seen courtesy of the windbyte website here

A more detailed list is also available courtesy of the wyndbyte website here

Almost every application, or scoping opinion has been lodged by a different company. If all these applications are granted the visual impact will be horrendous and the Borders countryside will be irrevocably changed for the worse.

The Dunion Hill and Black Law is the site for which, on 24th January, Windjen submitted a planning application to erect eight 101-metre-high wind turbines. They have joined the recent gold-rush by electricity suppliers who stand to benefit from huge subsidies and the promise of handsome profits offered by a government desperate to be seen to be reducing C02 emissions and the threat of Global Warming.

The members and supporters of the Dunion Hill Conservation Group are aware of the real need for change in our attitude and policy towards energy consumption and for the development of Renewable Energy Sources. But we cannot condone what has swiftly emerged as a totally indiscriminate siting for this "Energy Factory" for the sake of financial gain for the wind power developers and the electricity companies and misappropriated "green" kudos for the government. The cost of which will inevitably be born, not by the government, but by the consumer through higher electricity bills.

We are vehemently against this proposed industrial development in this totally inappropriate location. It would dominate the beautiful Rule Water Valley and its environs, one of the Borders hidden treasures, and our intention is to prevent it ever happening here. We invite you to use this site to help make up your mind about whether or not to object to this proposal by Windjen. If you agree with us then please let your voice be heard by contacting the group at the address below.

Note 1: For a list of Wind farm developments currently within the planning process, received from the Scottish Borders Council, January, 2006, click here (8kb pdf file).

Chairman: Andrew Nicholson   -   Secretary: Finoula Kerr


Click here to read the latest Renewable Energy Foundation Press Release

On the 10th March 2008 Windjen Power Ltd lodged an appeal against the SBC refusal of their application to erect 8 X 101 meter high wind turbines on Black Law, near Dunion Hill. The appeal will be dealt with in a Public Inquiry beginning on the 20th January 2009 and will last for an estimated two weeks. For offers of support and progress reports contact secretary@dunionhill-conservation.org.uk



click to view

The scale of things:
LINK to some images of known landmarks with wind-turbine superimposed.

Email the Dunion Hill Conservation Group