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MP demands end to windfarm applications

Council resources are being swamped by applications for windfarm developments.

And Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell says the Scottish Government should realise “enough is enough”.

He is urging Dumfries and Galloway Council to issue a memorandum opposing all new applications to stop tax payers’ cash and planning officers’ time being wasted.

The MP says it will be quick solution to ease the cost of windfarm applications on local authorities … and will make it clear that this region has accommodated more than its fair share of large-scale developments.

He said: “This region has already got more than its fair share of turbines.

“It’s bad enough that you can’t move without seeing turbines let alone that local tax payers are seeing council resources swallowed up by processing a barrage of large-scale applications.

“The Scottish Government must respect local democracy and stop putting councils under pressure to find more space for turbines. Council planning departments are already under severe pressure to deal with these applications and even the councils that does have preferred areas of development is receiving numerous speculative applications for places they have already stated are not suitable.”

He added: “Enough is enough, until a solution is found to help local authorities meet the costs of these applications; I want Dumfries and Galloway Council to consider issuing a memorandum opposing all new applications.”

His calls come now the Scottish Government has admitted it had not assessed the cost impact on individual councils, despite setting some of the highest renewable energy targets in the world.

Two councils have already called for a suspension on planning applications for windfarms because of the sheer cost and workload involved in bringing the bids through the system.

The Scottish Government has also sent a letter to all councils instructing them to set aside areas for preferred development to invite yet more applications.

However Mr Mundell argues that encouraging more applications will have a detrimental impact for local residents who will ultimately foot the bill.

He believes that large companies have been encouraged to flood council planning departments with applications by the SNP’s aggressive pro-windfarm agenda.

A Freedom of Information request has been lodged with Dumfries and Galloway Council and the other Scottish Councils by Scottish Conservatives asking how much the process has cost them over the past five years.

The SNP plan to provide 100 per cent of Scotland’s energy through renewable, however Mr Mundell says he is determined to make sure that policy does not mean “destroying the natural scenery that makes Dumfries and Galloway both a beautiful place to live and a top tourist destination”.