Linda Holt, spokesperson for the new national alliance against wind energy policy, Scotland Against Spin commented:
“The consenting of Kilgallioch wind farm shows that Scotland’s energy policy is out of control and national planning policy is little more than a licence to plunder by the multi-national wind industry. Killgallioch is a massive industrial installation which Scotland does not need and which will do huge environmental damage in an unspoilt area beloved by tourists, walkers and residents. Both Scottish Wildlife Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage are bodies which rarely object to wind developments, but both had multiple reasons for slamming Kilgallioch. The fact that the proposal was trimmed from 132 turbines to 96 means nothing because wind developers know they stand an excellent chance of getting an extension once they have obtained the initial consent.
The “section 36” process by which giant wind farm proposals gain consent by-passes many of the standard checks and balances in the planning system. The Scottish Government is using the Electricity Act for a purpose it was never intended to wave through massive industrial developments with a minimum of consultation or accountability. Fergus Ewing merrily signs off 4 out of every 5 Section 36 windfarm applications, decimating great tracts Scotland’s most unique and special countryside, all in a quest to fulfil Alex Salmond’s insane vision of a “Saudi Arabia of wind”.
Local authorities are too weak and under-resourced to resist. Sooner or later they cave into government pressure, so the area between Glen Luce and Ballantrae for instance now has 550 turbines in the offing. The only recourse left to communities who want to protect themselves is to challenge the government legally, whether via judicial review in Edinburgh or using the Aarhus Convention in European courts. Already the Government is embroiled in multiple legal actions in both courts over its rubber-stamping of wind farm applications, and more will follow. But such actions are difficult, costly and lengthy, so Mr Ewing and Mr Salmond can carry on with impunity, safe in the knowledge that by the time their wind farm policy is unmasked as an illegal environmental and economic disaster, they will be comfortably out of office.”
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