Walkers' Comments

The section of the website is under development and will show details and comments received from viewers and walkers of the Way.

The success of this section depends on the viewer submitting their observations to the websmaster. We will them display the comments as submitted subject to relevance and decency.

Please submit your comments using this e-mail link.

Minchmoor and Broadmeadows - Wind Farms
Graphic of Wind Turbine in relation to Jumbo Jet

This graphic provides dimensions of a wind turbine that would be used on the development along the Sir Walter Scott Way ridge walk. The sweep of the rotors would provide a circle large enough to park a Jumbo Jet.
In the plans, as presently developed, there would be 38 such turbines on or close to the ridge walk.

"Very interested to read about this venture. Disappointed to learn that a very large windfarm is being planned for Broadmeadows and wonder how this will affect the scenery in this beautiful valley?"

"I often walk in section 3 of the Sir Walter Scott Way and think it is one of the finest walks in the Borders and am wondering if you are aware of proposals to construct TWO wind farms on this part of the Way - one at Minch Moor and one at Broadmeadows Farm near the Three Brethren. And though wind turbines can look very dramatic in the right setting I think this particular ridge walk would be spoiled by the erection of such huge turbines, not to mention the infra-structure which will have to be in place to access the wind farms - ancient green roads will be lost for ever if the proposals go ahead.

"The Council would not consider such a development on an ancient archaeological site so perhaps you would like to make your feelings known to the Director of Planning on the proposed industrial development on this ancient drove road between Selkirk and Traquair. I'm sure Sir Walter Scott must have walked this way and the wind farms won't,in my opinion, enhance this part of the walk renamed after him.

"Good Luck with the launch of the walk at the end of the month."

"Dear Sir
I do not know whether you are aware of the proposal to erect a wind farm at Broadmeadows, Yarrowford. I visited the exhibition in Yarrowford Hall last night which was put on by Green Power - who are proposing to put up 24 x 300' turbines near the Way. I would suggest that you might like to look into it. The proposed turbines would completely ruin a wonderful, unspoilt area of border countryside and are certainly far too close to the community.
Thank you."

"Dear Sir
"I refer to your letter received on 11th April in respect of the above two development proposals.

"I am very grateful for the background information you have provided in respect of Walking Support and I note the points you raise with regard to the impact that a wind farm development may have on the experience of walkers using sections of the Way.

"The Council has now received the planning application for the proposed wind farm at Minch Moor. Copies of the application and the accompanying Environmental Statement will soon be placed in the public libraries in Innerleithen and Galashiels for public viewing. Copies will also be held in the Planning Offices at Newtown St Boswells, Galashiels and Peebles. I would therefore recommend that you take the opportunity to view the proposals as now submitted and to submit further comments if you feel that this is necessary.

"I am aware that a second developer has held a public exhibition of proposals for a wind farm at Broadmeadows and preliminary discussions did take place some months ago with Council representatives. However, to-date no formal planning application has been submitted. It is therefore difficult to comment further at this stage on this particular proposal.

"Should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me."
Yours faithfully
Alistair Lorimer
Assistant Head of Development Control

Walking Support's response to Minchmoor Planning Application

Resulting from e-mails and verbal communication with a considerable number of walkers from a far afield as Australia, Walking Support has prepared a submission and this is now with the Planning Department. The content is as follows:

We are writing to raise strong objection to the application that is before the Council for Planning permission for 14 wind turbine at Minchmoor. We further want to register a request that the Council suspends further consideration of the application until this application and the one from Broadmeadows are combined as one matter for consideration by the planning authority. Only if this combined approach is taken can the applicants and the objectors have a fair review of what are effectively connected turbines.

The grounds for objection are based on the following:

  • Visual disruption to the public walking on well recognised routes
  • Noise intrusion to the public on the walk
  • Long term damage to the paths along the line of the walks
  • Disruption to leisure pursuits during construction phase
  • Disruption to leisure activities caused through maintenance
  • Safety concerns associated with turbines positioned directly on the path route
  • Impact on the tourism economy
  • Impact on our own business prospects
Visual Disruption on the walk from Minchmoor for 5 miles will be dominated by the towers and blades of the windmills, this lasting for at least 2 hours. The visual interruption will be for 360 degrees and impact what is perhaps the best Borders panorama.

Noise Intrusion will be equivalent to working in an office environment at best as walkers pass under the wind turbines. This is going to create a background noise that many of the walkers will be trying to escape from and will reduce the pleasure of the experience yet further.

Damage to Paths will result from both the creation of hard tracks to allow for construction vehicles and later for maintenance traffic. Much of the 5 miles of path is presently grass or rocky track, this will in the former be eliminated and the way will become similar to walking on roadway. This will again reduce the pleasure of the walk.

Disruption in construction phase is not known in detail but with blades of up to 38 metres long and tower section of about twice that length it is certain that construction will frequently result in the paths being closed for safety reasons. With about 10 of the towers in the two developments being on the line of the ridge walk the number of days of disruption to walkers will be significant. How will the walker and the businesses supporting walkers be compensated?

Disruption from ongoing maintenance will also mean the need to retain roadways, bring vehicle onto the ridge and perhaps isolate parts of the route from time to time. How will this be notified to the walkers and the businesses supporting the walker?

Safety concerns for the walker relate to the issue of ice on the rotor blades and this falling off as they rotate or as temperatures rise. There are a number of walkers who like to go out in the winter and this route passes the walker under the overhang of the turbine blades. How can the companies ensure that no ice will fall off and hit a walker?

Walking is a growth element in the tourism sector and as people are generally looking to walking as a way to escape the element of modern living and to enjoy the landscape, we are convinced that this type of development will detract from the route. This development will cause many of them to choice other walking routes. The impact on bed nights could be considerable.

Our own business has a series of activities but the fastest growing relates to long distance walking. We provide guiding services to groups of walkers, booking services to individuals, run a series of websites for routes, two in the Scottish Borders and we have also developed and set up new routes. The Sir Walter Scott Way is designed to make a part of the under utilised and generally inaccessible Southern Upland Way attractive to the weeklong walker. This development will have the impact of closing off this route for periods of construction and to reduce the number of walkers interested in the route. The return on our considerable investment in this development will be badly effected, and we wonder if there will be in the longer term any worthwhile business case for our work.

We hope that due consideration will be given to the points above and that the pressure for the achievement of increased renewable energy targets will not bulldoze this application through. We support renewable energy and know that there are numerous other hill ranges in the Borders where the majority would see such a development as an asset.

Wind Farm Developments
I think the proposed windfarm developments along the Southern Upland Way could, if approached in a positive manner, be used as a valuable environmental tourism marketing tool for the area.
The Stuart Family - 15 May 2003

Concerns on the use of turbines in cold weather has been raised by Nick Wirsten. Either there is a danger from ice falling at speed from the rotar blades or the turbines cannot be used in weather where ice is able to formed.
To pursue this matter further you can e-mail bordervoyager@aol.com

A protest group has now been set up in Broadmeadows and we hope to brief them at a later date. The continuing protest against both proposals is gaining momentum and we hope to be successful in our mission.
yours sincerely
Colin Kerr.

From all the information we have received we can report strong and detailed objections to the planned development. In addition we publish a listing of useful website addresses which could be of help in researching this subject.

Companies Involved in Wind Generation

British Wind Energy Association - www.bwea.com
ENXCO - www.enxco.com
National Wind Power - www.natwindpower.co.uk
Offshore Wind Farms Industry Site - www.offshorewindfarms.co.uk
ECOTRICITY - www.ecotricity.co.uk
AMEC Borderwind - www.borderwind.co.uk

Government Sites

US government energy site - www.eren.doe.gov
Scottish Enterprise - www.se-energy.co.uk
DTI - www.dti.gov.uk
Scottish Executive - www.scotland.gov.uk
Efficient Development of Offshore Wind - www.risoe.dk


BBC - www.news.bbc.co.uk
New Scientist - www.newscientist.com
US Foundation for National Progress - www.motherjones.com
Page dealing with noise levels from Wind Farms - www.hayesmckenzie.co.uk/publications.html

Miscellaneous Information

Centre for Alternative Technology - www.cat.org.uk
Individual Environmentalists - www.Igreens.org.uk
Ramblers Association - www.ramblers.org.uk
Friends of the Earth Scotland - www.foe.scotland.org.uk
NoiseNet (Commercial advice on noise) - www.noisenet.co.uk
Noise Abatement Society - www.noiseabatementsociety.com
Problems of Wind Power - www.ncpa.org

Protest Groups

Irvine Community Council - www.vindsoft.co.uk\windfarm.htm
Rimside Moor Protest Group - www.wind-farms.co.uk
US Protest Group - www.elltel.net
Danish Society of Windmill Neighbours - www.naboertilvindmoller.dk/index_uk.html
MAIWAG - www.windfarm.fsnet.co.uk
Cefn Croes Action Group - cefncroes.org.uk
US Anti Windfarm Group - www.windpowercons.com/index.htm
Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound - www.saveoursound.org/moreoffshore.html
Keep Galloway Beautiful - www.kgbscot@aol.com
Denbighshire Against Rural Windfarms - hendrefarm@aol.com
S Holderness Opposes Windfarms - Bernard.jull@ntlworld.com
Cotswold Protection Group - Peggy.Liford@care4free.net
Skye Windfarm Action Group - info@sw-ag.org
Eaglesham Windfarm - plantserve@aol.com
Country Gaurdian - www.countrygaurdian.net

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