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Government ‘must respect’ council wind farm rejections

Almost a third of wind applications initially rejected by councils are later given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government, it was claimed today.

The Scottish Conservatives said the government – which aims to provide 100 per cent of energy from renewable sources – has overruled local authorities on 20 occasions over wind farm and turbine applications in the past year.

The list includes three sites in East Lothian, at Cockburnspath, Dunbar and East Linton, although appeals against council refusals were dismissed for other sites in Haddington and Linlithgow.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: “When local authorities turn down applications for wind farms or wind turbines, it is for good reason. Either planning officials will have concerns over their visual effect, or communities fear the impact on their doorstep. Often it is a combination of both.

“But on a third of occasions this year that hasn’t stopped the Scottish Government pushing them through anyway.

“The SNP’s obsession with wind power cannot be allowed to damage hillsides and ridges. Councils are best placed to know what is best for their areas, and it’s time the Scottish Government started respecting their decisions.”