The Borders Party is fully committed to introducing environmentally friendly policies so that we can preserve our region for future generations.
One of the Borders Party’s founding inspirations was to help protect the unique environment of the Borders. Respecting and improving our natural and cultural heritage is central to The Borders Party’s message.
Local government’s primary function in this area is in using planning powers to influence the location and type of new building. For our ideas on how to encourage attractive commercial and residential development, and to protect the Borders landscape, towns and villages from damaging projects, see the Housing and Development section of this site.
Government at all levels is also increasingly involved in combating atmospheric and other types of pollution. However, The Borders Party reserves the right to oppose developments supposedly designed to help the environment that in fact impose more costs than they save. For example, there is increasing concern at the proliferation of wind farms in sites of scenic importance.
Wind farms are a real worry. There is very little scope for more of them in the Borders without significant damage to our landscape, and many have already been placed in wholly unsuitable locations. The Borders landscape is an asset of vital importance not just to residents, but for attracting investors and tourists too. The over-riding planning policy concerning wind farms comes of course from central government; likewise the structure of incentives which add so significantly to all our electricity bills and without which wind farms simply would not be built. But the council plays a big role too in setting the local planning framework. Scottish Borders Council has woken up too late to the problem, partly because the parties in control are the same as those at the national level who want to impose wind farms on us. We need a more robust approach, independent of national political considerations.
The merits of such projects must be assessed on a case by case basis. We support efforts to encourage renewable energy and new environmental technologies which suit the geography of the Borders, for instance biofuel schemes which provide local employment and a much-needed boost to our significant forestry sector.
Where it can use its influence, Scottish Borders Council should help to reduce pollution. For example it should:
- encourage high standards of insulation in new buildings
- improve the efficiency of our recycling service
- encourage renewable energy projects where appropriate
- ensure that public lighting and other power usage is kept to a sensible minimum.
Tell us what you think
The Borders Party is fully committed to taking the views of Borderers into account, so please contact us and let us have your thoughts on how we can best serve the Borders.