AN ENERGY company has vowed to work with the local community after lodging a bid to build a wind farm near Peebles.

The 13-turbine application was submitted to the Scottish Government’s energy consents unit (ECU) by Belltown Power UK today (Friday, April 26).

The proposed site is approximately 4.5km northeast of Peebles on a ridge encompassing Dunslair Heights.

Around £420,000 could be generated each year across its four-decade lifespan, which would be shared by the communities of Peebles, Eddleston and Innerleithen.

The firm said the hub would contribute to Scotland’s renewable energy targets and “help balance the grid as it continues to decarbonise”.

Peter Thomas, senior development manager at Belltown, said: “We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to respond to our consultation and to give us their views over the past year.

“This has been invaluable in helping us shape our final proposals and in understanding local people’s priorities.

“We will work together with the local community and the landowners to deliver a project that maximises local benefits and clean energy, whilst sympathetically protecting and enhancing the natural environment.”

The proposal was lodged following a year-long public consultation that included meetings with community councils, organisations, businesses and residents, according to the firm.

It said that hundreds of people had attended public exhibitions held in April and November last year.

More than 600 feedback forms were submitted, with almost three quarters of those agreeing that the site was suitable for a wind farm, the company added.

The public consultations found that two thirds of respondents would like community benefit funds to be put towards the improvement of local facilities.

The firm said it had started discussions with community councils about setting up a community liaison group (CLG) that would determine how the cash might be administered and divided, should the wind farm bid be backed.

Belltown said it would also continue talks about a potential community stake in the project as part of its “groundbreaking” scheme.

Communities that host the wind energy hubs are offered one per cent of the project ownership for free, with a further four per cent stake available to purchase once the project is operational.

Mr Thomas added: “At Belltown, we fundamentally believe that renewable energy projects should benefit the communities that host them and we look forward to continuing our discussions with local people about the benefits that this proposal can deliver as the application progresses.”

The company said it would aim to start construction in 2026, should the application by supported by Scottish Government ministers.

People have until June 3 to make formal representations to the government about the proposal.