March 17, 2011

Council faces court review of wind farm

Evening Times, 17 March 2011

Villagers are planning legal action against their council amid claims it “unlawfully” granted permission for a wind farm.

Leading QC John Campbell, said the council’s screening of the Neilston Community Wind Farm application, in East Renfrewshire, was “seriously deficient”.

Planning bosses gave permission for the venture last month – without carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment, which Mr Campbell said was an essential requirement for a development of this scale.

Although the council conducted an informal environmental check before permission was granted, Mr Campbell stated that this was “not an adequate summary” of the issues involved. He said: “I am sorry to say that it does not appear, in its terms, to be anything more than a brochure for the development.”

Some residents of Uplawmoor are concerned that the four-turbine development will have an adverse effect on the area.

Group spokeswoman Aileen Jackson said concerned residents “have offered a substantial amount of money to take East Renfrewshire Council to court for a judicial review”, centred on the council’s failure to carry out an EIA.

The Neilston Development Trust and their partners Carbon Free Developments aim to create the wind farm between Uplawmoor and Neilston,

A spokesman for the local authority said planners concluded the development did not need an EIA because it “did not result in significant environmental effects”.

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