Firm confident of Scawd Law wind farm go ahead despite objection

Fred. Olsen Renewables has asked the Scottish Government for permission to put eight turbines on the Holylee Estate, around four kilometres north of Walkerburn.

Interested parties were invited to have their say on Scawd Law wind farm as the firm sought views on the project.

Edinburgh Airport objected to the wind farm “in the interests of aviation safety”.

It said the proposals conflicted with “safeguarding criteria”.

But a Fred. Olsen Renewables spokesperson said the company had been working closely with the airport and that assessments showed there would be no impact on its operations.

The spokesperson said: “Our proposals for the development of Scawd Law wind farm are the result of extensive community and stakeholder consultation and technical assessments. We are confident that our plans are appropriate for the local area and we look forward to delivering substantial economic and social benefits locally.

“We have been working closely with Edinburgh Airport throughout the development of our plans and our assessments have demonstrated that there will be no impact on its operations.

“Edinburgh Airport’s response is considered ‘standard’ when a wind farm is proposed within 30 nautical miles of an airport until the airport carries out further assessment – which is now under way.”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport was also approached for a comment on the wind farm as part of the consultation but it said the development would lie outside its safeguarding area.

The plans have received a mixed response from community councils in the area.

Innerleithen Community Council said its members unanimously supported the project, adding: “We feel that the long term generation of sustainable energy is vital to reduce carbon emissions and reverse the effects of climate change, and can eliminate the reliance on imported fossil fuels.

“Using home-grown renewable energy sources increases energy security and reduces the exposure to wildly fluctuating electricity prices which is a major cause of the cost-of-living crisis affecting so many following on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

But community councils covering Clovenfords and Heriot have opposed the potential development.

The Clovenfords group said the site was ‘inappropriate’ for the scale of the proposed wind farm.

A spokesperson said: “We think that the Scawd Law wind farm proposal is the wrong scale of development in the wrong place.

“It will give little contribution to national carbon emissions reduction intentions, at the expense of significant visual impact on the adjacent area of the Tweed Valley Special Landscape Area; indeed it will potentially dwarf part of the Tweed Valley and because of the shape of the landform there is little opportunity for mitigation.”

Fred. Olsen Renewables said that the final proposals had “evolved considerably” from the initial proposals, which included 12 turbines.

A spokesperson added: “We are confident that our plans for Scawd Law Wind Farm are appropriate for the local area.

“Combined with the substantial community benefit amounting to over £8m during the lifetime of the wind farm, we hope that Scawd Law Wind Farm can present many opportunities for the local community.”

The final decision will be taken by Scottish Government planners.