We should not be surprised that the Scottish Government has been granting planning approval for large numbers of wind farms, despite nearly 10,000 letters of objection in the last five years (“10,000 object to wind farms in five years”, The Herald, January 15).
Ignoring public protest on this issue is becoming the norm. The same SNP Government granted planning approval for the Beauly-Denny powerline despite having more than 21,000 letters of objection against less than 50 letters of support. One is left with the distinct impression that one letter of support from a multinational energy company has more impact on an SNP politician than 1000 letters of objection from ordinary citizens.
But we must have some sympathy for the Scottish Government. With a Coalition Government in power in Westminster seemingly desperate to provide huge financial rewards to any energy company wanting to develop wind farms in Scotland, it must be difficult to resist, especially when most of the funding comes from England’s electricity consumers. Liberal Democrat and Conservative politicians could change all this by ensuring that the funding support for large-scale wind farm development is removed from land-based locations and redirected to offshore wind farms. But Scottish LibDems and Conservatives appear to have minimal influence on those who take these decisions in the Coalition Cabinet. Meanwhile the Scottish landscape continues to be trashed as the politicians of these three parties bury their heads in the sand or peat.
Auld Mart Business Park,
YOUR report on the opposition to Alex Salmond’s wind farm proposals carries a remarkable statement from one of his spokesman: “Scotland has open, inclusive and transparent planning processes which give the right protection to our magnificent landscapes, and which takes the view of local communities into account.”
Everyone who has battled against the siting of wind farms and pylons and has witnessed the pressure placed upon local authorities and advisory quangos to give the “required” assent to these schemes knows how patently untrue this statement is.
The irony is that those in the past who would have supported independence are now drawing back in the fear that the man who has brought them nearer to that realisation than anyone is not really the person they want to see involved in their new government.
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