CONCERNS have been expressed that proper safety checks are not being undertaken on wind turbines.
Scottish Borders Council have told Tweeddale MP David Mundell that they have no way of checking whether turbines locally have been safely erected and rely on undertakings from developers and manufacturers.
Mr Mundell raised his concerns after the unexplained collapse of a large turbine, similar to those operated locally, at a windfarm in Northern Ireland.
He thought the council would have had the same building control function that they have when any other building takes place in the area, Mr Mundell is now seeking urgent clarification from the Scottish government over what steps they will take to remedy this apparent gap in regulation.
He said: “I am very surprised and concerned that wind turbines erected locally don’t seem to be independently-checked after construction in the way other developments are by the Council to ensure they have been properly constructed.
“I am now raising, what appears to be a gap in regulation, that should be urgently addressed, with the Scottish government.
“We need to have reassurance that these windfarms are safe after the incident at the Screggagh windfarm in Co Tyrone. It was particularly troubling that there appears to be no obvious explanation, such as very high winds, at the time.
“The turbine involved was similar to many locally with a tower height of 60 metres, an 80 metres rotor diameter, and an overall base to blade tip height of 100 metres, which is why the outcome of that inquiry is important, but also a proper and ongoing regime of inspection and testing.
“I have also been increasingly concerned about how close some proposed new developments are to people’s homes and the incident reinforces the need for regulation of that and for it to be enforced. We were lucky nobody was hurt in the Northern Ireland incident. We might not be so lucky next time.”