A wind farm has won planning permission at a meeting attended by only four councillors.
The proposal had been rejected by the full council but was later approved during the summer holidays, when most councillors were away.
One councillor who voted for the scheme already had a wind farm on his land, leading to claims of a ‘conflict of interest’.
The developer’s request was granted with the minimum possible number of councillors present.
Permission was granted for 15 turbines of 427ft at Sneddon Law, near Moscow, Ayrshire. The area is already dominated by the 215-turbine Whitelee development, the largest wind farm in Europe.
Locals say house prices have plunged and say communities are being ignored in the Scottish Government’s renewables rush.
An application by Lancashire-based Community Wind Power (CWP) for Sneddon Law was approved last year by an ad hoc East Ayrshire Council committee.
The committee usually consists of 11 councillors but at the request of CWP the meeting was held during the school holidays when many members were away.
Before the meeting, the council’s head of planning, Alan Neish, had recommended that the scheme be rejected.
One of the four councillors who approved the plan, David Shaw, has been reported to the Government standards committee.
The 63-year-old has a commercial wind turbine on his farm, which was earlier approved by East Ayrshire Council.
However, Mr Shaw called the complaint ‘a ridiculous attempt to question my integrity and honesty’.
Local campaigner Dr Rachel Connor, a recently retired radiologist, said: ‘We were concerned about the additional impact of these turbines close to our homes, as we already experience considerable noise from Whitelee.
‘This Government’s passion for wind farms will make a few people very rich and leave the Scottish people with a scarred landscape for which they will pay dear.’
A CWP spokesman said Sneddon Law’s noise emissions would be within recommended guidelines. East Ayrshire Council insisted that the application had been dealt with in accordance with the rules and there had been no conflict of interest, as Mr Shaw was not a customer of CWP.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: ‘Ministers have no powers to intervene once planning permission has been granted by a local authority.’
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding