The timing of an attempt by Scottish Renewables to lay to rest the notion that most people in the north-east were up in arms over wind turbines was, perhaps, unfortunate in retrospect.
Its survey, which purported to prove that 72% of people were comfortable with turbines, was overtaken somewhat by the arrival of their arch detractor Donald Trump, for his “showdown” over the government’s wind-energy policy.
It was also the day that the planning committee chairman for Aberdeenshire, which has more windfarm applications than anywhere else, said enough was enough. Councillor Peter Argyle accused the Scottish Government of being out of touch with ordinary people over the issue, while presiding over a rapidly approaching wind-turbine crisis, and demanded a halt to the approval of new turbines until everyone had a chance to think again.
His intervention is crucial, given the fact that planning committees in areas such as his have felt uncomfortable for some time. They suffer relentless government pressure to approve windfarms, while anger grows among the public they serve who feel this is fundamentally wrong.
Scottish ministers set a target for what seemed like a sensible shift towards renewables, but their methods proved far from sensible, or reasonable, to many.
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