One of the largest wind farms proposed in Scotland is the subject of a new complaint to the United Nations – following a landmark case taken by a community councillor.
Susan Crosthwaite has written to the UN’s Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to complain about the Kilgallioch facility in South Ayrshire, which was given planning permission last month.
Her complaint follows one made by Christine Metcalfe, who gave evidence to the UNECE in December about the building of the Carraig Gheal wind farm near her home in Taynuilt – an area of great beauty and a nesting site for golden eagles.
Mrs Metcalfe, 70, went to the UN on behalf of Avich-Kilchrenan Community Council in Argyll, after failing in her challenge to the Scottish Government. She claimed the UK Government and the European Union breached the UN’s Aarhus Convention, under which the public must be given reliable and transparent information on environmental matters, and sufficient participation in decision-making.
Now hotelier Mrs Crosthwaite – a former chairwoman of Communities Against Turbines Scotland (Cats), who lives in Ballantrae, South Ayrshire – claims similar breaches were made with respect to the Kilgallioch wind farm.
The 96-turbine facility is due to be built near Barhill, within South Ayrshire and Galloway Biosphere – an area awarded Unesco status in recognition of its ecological importance.
There were 64 objections to its planning application and 24 submissions in support.
Mrs Crosthwaite said: “I wrote to the UN to point out Christine Metcalfe’s case was not an isolated one. I believe the same breaches of the Aarhus Convention took place with regard to the Kilgallioch wind farm.”
She claimed the Kilgallioch application was approved by the Scottish Government while she had a number of outstanding requests for information about it. Her complaint will be considered as part of the wider case brought by Mrs Metcalfe.
UNECE’s Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee is examining the case and will publish its decision later this year.
The Scottish Government is responsible for planning, but the challenges were raised against the UK Government, which contests the complaint, because it is a signatory to the Aarhus Convention.
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