Highlands and Islands list MSP Mary Scanlon has accused the Scottish government of encouraging developers to inundate local authorities with wind farm applications.
SNP government ministers Derek McKay and Fergus Ewing have instructed councils to identify areas for wind farm developments, and offered an additional £300,000 to cope with the extra workload.
On Monday, the Tory spokeswoman for energy predicted that the move would create a “deluge of applications”.
“This is sending out an open invitation to wind farm companies across the world to submit their applications in Scotland, and that is something that will worry many local communities throughout the Highlands and Islands.
“All over the region, groups have been established to fight these developments, showing the acute concern felt by so many people.
“Council planning departments are already under severe pressure to deal with these applications, and even the councils who do have preferred areas of development are receiving speculative applications en masse for places they have stated are not suitable,” Ms Scanlon said.
In their letter to heads of planning the ministers said: “The clear identification of areas of search for wind farms is in everyone’s interest – planning authorities, developers and the wider public.”
The government aims to provide the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand to come from renewables by 2020.
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