March 24, 2013

44,000 object to wind farm bids

Blairgowrie Advertiser | March 24, 2013 |

More than 44,000 people objected to wind farm applications in Scotland in the past five years, the Conservative Party has estimated.

About 34,000 objections were submitted to councils, ranging from an estimated 9,421 in Aberdeenshire, to two objections in East Dunbartonshire, figures obtained from 23 out of 32 Scottish local authorities show.

Six other councils have received more than 1,000 objections, ranging from 3,333 in Argyll and Bute to 1,342 in South Ayrshire. More than 14,000 complaints, or around two-fifths of the total, were received in 2012 alone.

More than 10,000 people have contacted the Scottish Government directly to object to major applications only considered by Holyrood, figures obtained by the Tories earlier this year showed. Anti-wind farm campaigners arranged a protest at the SNP conference in Inverness this weekend.

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Energy Committee, said: “The tens of thousands of objections right across the country show the sheer level of public alarm at the SNP’s wind farm obsession.

“What’s worse, all too often these concerns are completely ignored by an SNP Government intent on fulfilling their own ludicrous renewable energy goals, whatever the cost.

“People aren’t just concerned about wind farms ruining their landscape and quality of life, they don’t want Scotland’s electricity supply dependent on a source that is unreliable and intermittent.

“When a council votes against a wind farm application, usually with the backing of its planning experts and local communities, the Scottish Government should respect that.

“Instead, we see ministers in Edinburgh overturning those decisions without any regard for local feelings or the knock-on effect any wind farm may have. It’s time the SNP had a reality check and accepted that while people don’t mind the odd wind farm being part of the mixed energy solution, there are far better avenues to explore.”

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