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RSPB warns of danger from 'fast-track' planning law

Scotland could be turned into the “dumping ground” for controversial developments such as nuclear power stations and large-scale wind farms if new planning legislation is allowed to pass unchanged, a wildlife conservation group claims.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland has called on MSPs to reject the “potentially disastrous” environmental implications of the Scottish Executive’s Planning Bill when it goes through its final stage in parliament on Wednesday and Thursday.

In its current form the RSPB says it is “extremely concerned'” that the bill will deny opportunities to object to and challenge the principle of the most controversial and potentially destructive developments.

The bill will grant planning permission, in principle, to designated “national developments” and will also create a “fast-track” system to ensure such planning consents will be granted quickly.

Anne McCall, RSPB head of planning, said: “You’ll probably get more consultation about your neighbour’s extension than about whether they’re going to build another motorway next door to you.”

By Craig Brown

scotsman.com