Community Windpower Ltd submitted a planning application for another extension to Aikengall Wind Farm. The proposed extension is sited approximately 12.5 kilometres (km) South of Dunbar, 6 km South of Innerwick and 5 km Northeast of Cranshaws.
The Aikengall IIa proposal was reduced by Community Windpower from 27 to 19 turbines following a number of objections lodged in November 2014 including representations from East Lammermuir Community Council, East Lothian Council and Borders Council. 5 of the 19 proposed turbines will be sited in East Lothian.
East Lammermuir Community Council objected on the grounds that it contravenes the East Lothian Council planning guidance on wind turbines which are too large for this location. As the turbines would be clearly visible from many points within the Oldhamstocks Conservation Village Area, the visual and landscape impact of this proposal on the conservation village is unacceptable. There would be cumulative impact – the proposed turbines above Oldhamstocks would add to the sense of being surrounded by turbines in every direction (Aikengall I, Wester Dod, Ferneylea and Hoprigshiel), and would impact on visual and landscape amenity. Residential amenity would be affected due to visual, noise and psychological impacts. ELCC also raised concerns about re-instatement of the access road and impact of construction and maintenance related traffic.
Aikengall IIa Opposed by Councils
On Wednesday 4th March 2015 Scottish Borders Councillors voted 5-2 against the Aikengall IIa proposal, despite planning officers advising against them objecting to the scheme. The Councillors said that “enough was enough and a strong message needed to be sent to Scottish Ministers that this part of the Lammermuirs was at saturation point and development should stop”.
On Tuesday 10th March 2015, East Lothian Councillors followed in the footsteps of Scottish Borders Council and opposed the scheme for Aikengall IIa by a vote of 5-1. Councillor Michael Veitch said “It’s been my position for a long time that enough is enough. Aikengall and Aikengall 2 are there and several Crystal Rig phases – we are well beyond capacity.”
So, the final decision on whether a further 19 turbines can be added to Aikengall wind farm in the Lammermuirs will lie with the Scottish Government, but the answer from both East Lothian and the Borders is a resounding NO!
Aikengall IIa Public Enquiry
Aikengall IIa goes to a public enquiry on 5th October 2015 in Cockburnspath Village Hall. Each party who have lodged objections to this development will be invited to attend the public enquiry, at which they will submit their reports. East Lammermuir Community Council will be represented and will focus objections on the cumulative impact which all the wind farms are having on Oldhamstocks and the residents of ELCC. Cockburnspath & Cove Community Council and Lammermuir Community Council (Scottish Borders) will also attend the enquiry, as well as both East Lothian and Borders Councils.