Hawick water turbine proposals divide community council

Hawick Community Council members are split over plans to site a community water turbine in the River Teviot.

What the proposed water turbine generator at The Cauld could look like.

A planning application submitted by Hawick Community Energy Group in November seeks to locate the Borders’ first community hydro-generator at the Cauld on the high school side of the river.

It wants to see the town powered by the river, using an engine known as an Archimedean screw.

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Community councillor Andy Maybury, chairman of the energy group, said the scheme would provide lean electricity and deliver environmental enhancements that would make it easier for fish to travel along the Cauld.

He added that the high school would benefit from generated power supplying electric loads in the school.

Discussing the plans at Monday’s meeting of the community council, Duncan Taylor and Liz Adams backed the scheme, but French White, Jan Robertson and Cameron Knox had concerns, with potential disruption to the traditional dipping of the flag during the town’s annual common riding among them.

Mr Knox said: “At the moment, there are two support comments and nine objections in the planning system.

“The support has come from outwith the town while the objections are from the town.”