I was interested to read a government spokeswoman saying: “Every wind farm application was assessed on its merits, taking into account the views of various interested parties, local communities and the public. The Scottish Government will only allow wind farms to be built where the impacts have been found to be acceptable – and unsuitable applications are rejected” (your report, 26 October).
If this is the case, and democracy at a local level is to have any meaning whatsoever, it is high time ministers took note of the following and dealt with the matter.
In 2003, a planning application was submitted by the developer Catamount Energy/Force 9 for a wind farm on the Abercairny estate in Perthshire, near the world-renowned and iconic Sma Glen.
After a hard-fought campaign by locals, the proposal was unanimously rejected by Perth and Kinross Council. There then followed a long and very costly public inquiry. In September 2006, heeding the advice of the reporter, the then Labour/Lib Dem administration at Holyrood declined planning permission on grounds that “the proposal would not serve to preserve the natural beauty of the area”.
Now, Force 9 Energy, on behalf of the same estate, has submitted a further application in very much the same area, be it on a slightly smaller scale.
Surely any fair-minded person must see such an act as morally indefensible and unacceptable. What is happening under present legislation may be perfectly legal, but that does not make it right and not requiring of change.
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