A public backlash against Alex Salmond’s plan to cover Scotland with wind farms was exposed yesterday when new figures revealed there have been almost 10,000 objections to planning applications.
Yet, separate figures obtained recently showed that a staggering 83 per cent of all major applications for wind farms submitted for approval by ministers were passed.
It’s believed the 10,000 or so objections will be only a fraction of the overall objections to wind farms, because local authorities deal with the majority of cases.
Anti-wind farm campaigners seized on the figures, claiming they showed the SNP government was not listening to ordinary people.
They emerged following a Holyrood written question from Scottish Tory MSP Murdo Fraser, who is also convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Energy and Tourism Committee.
Mr Fraser said: “Given the sheer number of objections, the SNP should be in no doubt about how Scotland’s communities feel about wind farms.
“And this is the thin end of the wedge, because these are people who have been so irked by the treat of looming wind turbines, that they have taken the time to contact the Scottish Government to protest.
“This figure does not include the thousands more who find turbines unsightly and unnecessary. What is more galling is, despite receiving 10,000 objections, many wind farms were waved through anyway.
“The SNP’s wind energy obsession has to be curbed, otherwise every vista in Scotland will be at risk from an invasion of great, white turbines.
“That will have a negative impact on tourism and the everyday enjoyment rural communities get from their surroundings.”
Anti-wind farm campaigner Linda Holt said the Scottish Government seemed to be in a “coma” and was simply ploughing ahead with the development with no regard for their costs or the damage to the environment they cause.
She said: “It doesn’t surprise me that they are not listening. They have decided that this is the way it must be and nothing will get in there way.
“They will accept no counter arguments that the turbines are not only ugly, damage the environment, but also do not work. It seems as if they are in a coma and are blindly ploughing ahead with all this without acknowledging there may be problems. More and more people and various groups from ordinary communities to mountaineers are growing increasingly uneasy about the blight these structures are leaving on Scotland’s countryside. It is an obsession for which they will pay dearly at the ballot box.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scotland has open, inclusive and transparent planning processes which give the right protection to our magnificent landscapes, and which take the views of local communities into account.
“Since 2008, we have received more than 4,000 representations in support of wind farm applications and 9,868 objections. Wind farms and other forms of clean, green energy enhance energy security and create opportunities for communities to secure new jobs and investment.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding