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MSP to meet Minister over windfarm concerns

Lothian MSP Neil Findlay is to call on the Scottish Government to produce a national, co-ordinated, plan for wind farm developments across the country.

During a meeting with Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, the MSP will voice concerns about the current situation in West Lothian, which is seeing a rush of applications from various development companies.

The new applications, if approved, are major projects and will see turbines running along the entire southern boundary of West Lothian from Kirknewton through to Shotts.

Mr Findlay will also raise worries at how plans for wind turbines often exclude the communities and people who live around them and call instead for a strategy which places communities at the heart of these schemes.

He said: “West Lothian Council are now receiving a flood of applications. It now resembles the race to the Klondike.

“If all the applications are approved, the county will host hundreds of turbines.

“I am pro-renewable energy but I believe we need a national plan that ensures the burden of energy generation is shared around the country and not specific areas which are disproportionately accommodating an intense concentration.

“I also believe we require a national plan which ensures the benefits of renewable energy schemes are shared amongst the people and communities in Scotland.

“At the moment communities like Harburn, West Calder, Kirknewton, Breich and Fauldhouse to the South and Blackridge to the West are being swamped with applications for turbines without any substantive benefit derived by, or involvement of, the communities.

“As a result, people who were previously in favour of renewable energy are beginning to object. Most reasonable people will take their fair share but it becomes unfair when a small area is inundated with application after application.”