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No halt in sight yet for Fife’s windfarm deluge

The leader of Fife Council says he is disappointed the Scottish Government rejected his call for a moratorium on wind turbines.

Fife is being hit by a deluge of planning applications for turbines as the Scottish Government aims to meet renewable energy targets.

Councillor Alex Rowley wrote to planning minister Derek Mackay in the hope the council could be given some breathing space from turbine applications until the worries of Fife communities were considered.

He said: “I am disappointed that the Scottish Government has not supported Fife’s request for a temporary moratorium on determining major onshore wind planning applications.

“I believe our request was reasonable to allow us to review our policies without the short-term pressure of having to determine complex applications during the review period.

“Moray Council made a similar request and I understand this has also been turned down.

“Fife will now proceed with its consultation on a review of our onshore wind planning policies.

“This reinforces our commitment to protecting Fife communities from the impact of excessive onshore windfarm development.”

He added: “In response to my letter, the planning minister Derek Mackay has offered a meeting between Scottish Government and Fife Council officials to discuss what further support the Scottish Government might provide.

“I believe this is a helpful route to continue dialogue on this matter.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Scotland has massive green energy potential, with one of the best resources in Europe.

“The industry is already delivering thousands of new jobs and securing billions of pounds of investment in our economy in communities across Scotland, including Fife.

“We are considering further ways of supporting planning authorities in dealing with their renewables workloads.

“We do not believe a moratorium on wind turbine applications is appropriate.

“It would simply cause undue delay and uncertainty for everyone involved in applications.

“Development proposals should be accompanied by appropriate levels of supporting information and appraisals and unsuitable developments should be refused.”