South Scotland

Third time unlucky for Gilston Hill wind farm scheme

Wind turbine Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The project in the Borders has gone to the Scottish government three times

Plans for a wind farm in the Scottish borders have been rejected for a third time over "environmental harm" fears.

Proposals to put up turbines north west of Gilston Farm, near Heriot, first surfaced almost a decade ago.

It was initially refused by a Scottish government reporter - but revised plans later gained approval in February 2019.

However, the Court of Session quashed that decision and it was ordered to be re-determined. A reporter has now concluded the scheme should be refused.

A planning application for the Gilston Hill wind farm was originally submitted to Scottish Borders Council in late 2011.

'Environmental harm'

It was for 16 turbines, but that application was rejected by the Scottish government two years later.

A smaller scale project - for seven turbines - resurfaced in 2017, but was then knocked back by Scottish Borders Council.

The developers behind the scheme then appealed that decision to the Scottish government, which then ruled it could proceed.

Heriot Community Council staged a successful appeal to the Court of Session, forcing it back to the planning and environmental appeals division.

It has now looked again at the project and come up with a different decision to the one it delivered last year.

A reporter concluded that the benefits of the scheme did not outweigh its "environmental harm" and concluded that it should not go ahead.

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