Demands have been made for the chief executive of a top wind farm lobby to apologise to communities in Perthshire following claims made during a TV interview.
While he appeared on Newsnight Scotland, Niall Stuart of Scottish Renewables said “there are few, if any, wind farms on areas of national scenic importance.”
He is now facing a backlash from locals living near wind farms either operating or being constructed at Drumderg, Calliacher and Griffin. Residents near each of the sites have long campaigned, ultimately unsuccessfully, in a bid to protect the picturesque local landscapes.
Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has branded the comments made by Mr Stuart as an “insult to Perthshire.”
“It is disappointing to hear the wind farm lobby state that no or few areas of national scenic importance have been affected by wind farm developments,” he said. “Here in Perthshire, we are seeing the construction of another two massive wind farm developments near Aberfeldy, and Drumderg is already in operation.
“East Perthshire and Highland Perthshire are among the most scenic and beautiful parts of Scotland and many visitors come to our area to see unspoiled landscape.
“This is now lost due to unwanted wind farm developments. Wind farm companies and supporters must realise that massive wind farms are ruining our landscape with these turbines and damaging our local economy.”
Mr Fraser voiced his fears that the tourism industry in the area could be damaged by the blight of turbines and made an impassioned plea for a review of the planning system.
He believes it should be looked at urgently as all three developments in Perthshire have been opposed by both communities and the local council.
“I do not want to see the beauty of Highland Perthshire sacrificed with massive wind turbines staked into the landscape, which can be seen for miles across Perthshire,” he added.
“Scotland’s planning system for wind farm applications and the decision-making process is in a complete mess.
“It is vital that the SNP government take action and undertake a national review of the current national planning guidance for the siting of onshore wind farms and the decision-making process for a wind farm development.”
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