Wind farm proposals go on show at Borders venues

February 26, 2014 | Birneyknowe News

Borders residents are being invited to a series of exhibitions where they can learn the full details behind a proposed wind farm near Hawick.

We have been consulting with the community for almost two years over our plans for Birneyknowe Wind Farm, a process which has seen residents and businesses have a voice in shaping the proposals.

Now local people will have a chance to get a detailed overview of the final blueprint before it is submitted to Scottish Borders Council for planning consideration.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “We are hoping as many locals as possible will turn out to see for themselves how this wind farm would look and what it will bring to the local area.

“We firmly believe that when people get the chance to see what is involved, they will also see why it is well worth supporting.

“As well as creating jobs and contributing to a community fund of up to £300,000 per year, the revenues generated by the wind farm would also support an innovative new apprenticeship training scheme for the area.”

During consultation we took on board feedback from the community and planners to shape the design of the wind farm. That resulted in a proposal for 15 turbines at the site, between Hawick and Bonchester Bridge, which would generate up to 60MW of clean, green energy.

Phil added: “Thanks to valuable feedback and the involvement of local residents and businesses, we have been able to come up with a design which is most sensitive to the local landscape, while still delivering real, long-term benefits to the surrounding area.”

Previous exhibitions held last year attracted more than 100 people, but we are hoping for an even greater turnout to see the final proposals. Around 8,500 homes have already been leafleted with details of the latest exhibitions.

The first will take place at the William Laidlaw Memorial Hall, Bonchester Bridge on Tuesday, March 4. The second is at Hawick Rugby Club in the town’s Mansfield Road on March 5, while the third event takes place Denholm Village Hall on March 6. All three events are open to the public from 3-7pm.

Phil added: “We greatly appreciate all the feedback and support we have received from members of the community throughout our consultation process.

“While our previous exhibitions were well-attended, we are hoping for an even bigger turnout this time around.”

Feedback from last June’s  attendees revealed a significant number would support plans to invest in jobs and training initiatives in the area, as part of the community benefit the wind farm would deliver.

We are proud of our reputation for our community partnership approach to its wind farms, where a share of revenues is invested into local projects and initiatives, as prioritised by local people.  We are the current main sponsor of Hawick Rugby Club.

Full details about the proposed Birneyknowe Wind Farm can be found at the dedicated website, http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/birneyknowe

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