Wind turbine applications are overwhelming communities and should be put on hold for six months, the Scottish Government has been told.
Senior Aberdeenshire councillor Peter Argyle said his authority received about 800 applications for onshore turbines in 14 months – with about 40 a month still coming forward as part of a “wind rush” by developers.
He also wants the Scottish Government to waive the rule giving applicants the right to appeal to ministers if their plans are not determined by councillors in two months.
Mr Argyle is chairman of the infrastructure committee which determines larger planning applications, notably Donald Trump’s golf course on the North Sea coast. Mr Trump is due to outline his opposition to an offshore wind development before MSPs at Holyrood on Wednesday.
Mr Argyle, writing in the Press And Journal newspaper, stated: “I believe the Scottish Government must act now. All undetermined applications should be put on hold by relieving the council of the two-month obligation – and also by removing the right to appeal on non-determination.
“The council should also be indemnified against any claims for the period of this moratorium.”
He accepts the delay may conflict with a government target for renewable energy sources to meet the existing demand for electricity by 2020. But he said the policy should take second place to the needs of communities.
Mr Argyle said the “wind rush” has left Aberdeenshire with more applications than the rest of Scotland put together.
He wrote: “This is having an increasingly serious impact on communities across Aberdeenshire, many of whom are feeling overwhelmed, both by the sheer number of proposals and by their seemingly haphazard, unpredictable pattern.”
The six-month moratorium would give the council “time and space to take stock”, he said.
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