A call has gone out for the countryside to be protected from over-development of wind farms.
Eight of the country’s leading conservation and environment organisations are behind the plea.
The Scottish Government is currently holding consultations on the Scottish Planning Policy and the National Planning Framework.
The outcome of these will affect national planning rules including those for windfarms in years to come.
An open letter from the organisations, including The National Trust for Scotland, said that they were “very concerned at the level of protection proposed” for the countryside.
It continued: “We are concerned at the proposal that locally significant landscapes, designated as such by local councils, should be regarded nationally as areas where there are ‘opportunities for windfarm development’.
“If local authorities and their electorates think particular local landscapes are important, then this should not be over-ridden nationally.”
The organisations also called for nature reserves and places identified as core areas of wild land by Scottish Natural Heritage to have the same protection as National Scenic Areas.
The letter added: “The current draft states that in such areas wind power developments will be acceptable where it can be demonstrated that any significant effects on the qualities for which the area is identified can be substantially overcome by siting, design or mitigation.
“This will allow inappropriate developments to be approved because of the lack of clarity in using subjective words.”
Other organisations backing the call are the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, The Munro Society, Ramblers Scotland, Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society, and the Scottish Wild Land Group.
The consultations close on July 23.
Dumfries and Galloway has seen a number of windfarm applications refused by the local authority to then go on to be approved by ministers.
Two of the most recent were the Gamesa’s Carscreugh Fell site near Glenluce for 18 turbines and the Glenchamber development between New Luce and Kirkcowan, owned by RES.
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