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Politicians comment on Wind Farm decision

The MP and MSP for the Western Isles have today (Monday) both reacted to the news that the Scottish Government has finally refused the application to build the large windfarm project in North Lewis.

Speaking after today’s announcement Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan commented:

“Today represents the end of a very long and at times painful debate in the islands. This was one of the most controversial planning developments that Scotland has faced in recent times.

“Ministers have now reached their final decision and, while no decision can please everyone, most people will be relieved a conclusion has finally been arrived at.

“Today’s announcement confirms the government’s initial view, expressed to the applicants some weeks ago.

“I have long made clear my own view that the sheer scale and environmental impact of this project was such that it could not command the support of the communities most affected.

“That was not the view of some others in the islands, and they argued their case with integrity.

“It is time now for all of us in the islands to move on together and work for the common aim of the islands much needed economic development.

“I believe that renewables will play an important role in that development –both wind and wave, and the Scottish Government has indicated its clear commitment to this.

“As elsewhere in Scotland, however, though the potential is massive, not every
application is right, and communities have a right to make their voices heard, Today though, it is time for the islands to look to the future.”

MP Angus MacNeil commented:

“Obviously some people will be disappointed but a lot will be relieved.

“It’s a fact that not every scheme makes it through the planning process and when the views of people in the islands are taken into consideration the decision on this proposal could really only have gone one way.

“One thing I will say is that both sides of the debate have advanced the argument they have thought was best for the future of the islands. Although obviously divergent viewpoints, both I believe have been advanced with integrity.

“However, in my view, such a massive scheme required the obvious consent of the people – the days of things being done to, and for people, without their consent I hope are long gone.”

Stornoway Gazette

21 April 2008