SNP’s wind energy ‘obsession’ criticised

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Two-thirds of wind farm applications rejected by local authorities this year were later overturned by the Scottish Government.

Scottish Conservatives used recent research statistics that show that of 17 appeals, 11 were overturned and the wind farms given approval, to attack the SNP’s promotion of wind energy.

That means windfarm developers now have a success rate on appeal of 64 per cent.

Communities across Scotland have complained about too many turbines spoiling local scenery, while some councils have even asked for moratoriums to be put in place to cope with the influx of planning applications.

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: “The SNP’s obsession with onshore wind energy is damaging Scotland’s countryside and ruining local democracy.

“Too often, when these applications are lodged, the people say no, council planners say no and local elected representatives say no.

“You’d think the Scottish Government would respect this, yet still we see ministers pulling rank and acting like they know what’s best for rural Scotland.

“Of course, wind energy has a place in Scotland’s energy mix, but only when the turbines are not ruining local scenery and upsetting those who have to see them every day.

“The SNP should be opening its mind to other sources like shale extraction.

“But instead, it’s continuing on its bloody-minded path of having Scotland’s countryside plastered with unreliable and intermittent windfarms.”

Graham Lang, of campaign group Scotland Against Spin, added: “The Scottish Government does not respect local democracy and is a target-driven autocracy.

“No one knows better than the energy minister Paul Wheelhouse, as a resident in the Scottish Borders, where some areas are saturated with turbines, the depth of well-founded planning-based objections from local authorities, community councils and thousands of individuals. People are entitled to wonder if there is pro-wind bias among reporters determining appeals and those advising Scottish ministers”.

Mr Wheelhouse was contacted for a response but did not reply.