THE developers of a proposed wind farm that was rejected by Borders councillors have accused local authorities of speaking “with forked tongues”.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee last week, members opposed plans to build a 45-turbine wind farm across the region and Dumfries and Galloway.

Following the decision, projects director at Community Windpower – which submitted the proposals for the Faw Side wind farm – says that “no one is standing up for the climate”.

“It’s disappointing that local authorities are not properly recognising the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2019 and the legally binding targets it has set for Scotland,” said Gillian Cropper, of Community Windpower.

“Local authorities speak with forked tongues; on the one hand declare their own climate emergency and set unrealistic net zero targets whilst objecting to pretty much every onshore wind scheme on visual grounds.

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“Planning committees don’t appear to be briefed – we question why?

“Are the local authorities not aware of this climate law? Why is there no legal counsel briefing the planning committees?

“No one is standing up for the climate.”

Ms Cropper added that the Faw Side farm would “greatly increase” SBC’s ability to achieve climate targets, as well as providing an “economic boost” for the region.

In response to Ms Cropper’s comments, an SBC spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government will determine this application, with the council agreeing a formal response at its recent planning and building standards committee to the Energy Consent Unit’s consultation.

“As with a planning application, appropriate consideration was given to all aspects of the application, relevant planning matters and local and national policy covering a range of areas, including climate change.

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“An officer report was put forward and presented to the planning and building standards committee, with elected members then making a decision on the response to be provided to the Scottish Government, based on all relevant information available, including the officer report, the application and other relevant representations.

“In this instance, the view was that this application was not the right development in the right place and that this was not outweighed by other considerations.”

Due to the size of the proposed turbines, the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit will have the final say on the proposal.

At the planning meeting, a council officer said he expected Dumfries and Galloway Council to submit their thoughts on the proposal soon.