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Council challenged on windfarm guidelines 

Credit:  The Press and Journal, 17 November 2011 ~~

Proposed new planning guidelines will make it nigh on impossible to refuse a windfarm in the Highlands on the grounds of its impact on nearby houses, it was claimed yesterday.

Caithness Windfarm Information Forum is challenging Highland Council’s revised stance on the thorny issue of the acceptability or otherwise of turbines near residences.

Chairman Stuart Young claims the local authority’s latest position is at odds with that agreed by councillors and cocks a snook at the public consultation exercise it carried out.

Until February last year the forum was happy with the protection afforded to householders living close to the sites of proposed windfarms.

The Scottish planning guidelines then made clear applications would be refused where the windfarm would have ‘ a long-term significant detrimental impact’ on nearby residents.

This has since been watered down to direct planning authorities to merely have to consider the ‘longterm and significant impact’ of the proposal.

Mr Young welcomed Highland Council’s subsequent introduction of stricter measures to protect residential amenity.

The forum, he said, was very concerned to note that the council has changed it stance in its latest amendment to its new local development plan.

Mryoung said: “This would eliminate the in-built protections and make it virtually impossible to refuse any windfarm application in the face of the Scottish Government’s pressure to allow windfarm development.”

The forum is calling on officials to withdrawits response to reflect the views of the councillors who had approved the draft version of the development plan.

At the least, it believes the council is duty bound to put its new stance out to public consultation.

Source:  The Press and Journal, 17 November 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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