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Political row over wind farm appeals in Scotland

Words: Roger Milne
Wind farm / Shutterstock_110242874

The Conservative shadow minister for local government has claimed that ministers are riding roughshod over local democracy after highlighting that in the past 12 months nearly two-thirds of council-refused wind farms were approved on appeal by the Scottish Government.

Alexander Stewart MSP launched the attack on the SNP government after a written parliamentary reply from planning minister Kevin Stewart revealed that ministers had approved 11 out of 17 wind farm projects originally rejected by councils.

He said: “The minister’s answer to my question shows the Scottish Government’s clear contempt for local democracy; two-thirds of wind farm applications rejected by local authorities who clearly know and respect their own rural environments have been overturned by the SNP so far this year.”

He added: “The party is clearly demonstrating its obsessiveness with wind energy at the expense of other sources. Communities across Scotland have complained about too many turbines spoiling local scenery.

“Indeed, Scottish councils have been inundated and authorities have even asked for moratoriums to be put in place to cope with the influx of planning applications.”

The Scottish Government has insisted that “clear planning policies” were in place to ensure that wind farms were only developed in appropriate locations. A spokesman stressed in The Scotsman:  “Planning reporters consider all relevant information and representations from the local community.”

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