[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Council accused of withholding information on Clatto Hill turbine plans  

Credit:  By Michael Alexander | The Courier | 28 October 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

A campaign group has accused Fife Council of a “systematic and deliberate attempt” to withhold information about two windfarm planning applications.

The Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG) submitted a Freedom of Information request to Fife Council in May 2012 to see the initial planning assessments of two windfarm proposals for Clatto Hill.

The Scottish Government’s Information Commissioner instructed the council that it was in the wider interest to make the information public.

However, the council’s planning officers refused to comply. They started an appeal to the Court of Session, but last month abandoned this appeal.

Following a renewed instruction to issue the two reports, the council sent out a report to CLPG, which the group says was obviously not the report requested.

CLPG believes this is part of a systematic and deliberate attempt to block making these reports available to the public.

Subsequent reports which went before councillors recommended approval of the two schemes for a total of 10 wind turbines over 100 metres tall.

However, councillors in three committees overwhelming rejected the proposals. Both developers appealed and a Scottish Government Reporter dismissed the appeals earlier this year. The turbines cannot now be built.

CLPG chairman Greg Brown said: “We had the bizarre situation that councillors, the local community, the case officer and then the Scottish Government Reporter all agreed the schemes were unsuitable. But planning bosses thought they should be approved.

“The reports to councillors were altered from refusal to approval and made strange reading as there were obvious inconsistencies throughout these reports.”

CLPG secretary Stavros Michaelides added: “Although the local community around Clatto Hill are no longer threatened by these particular proposals, all over Fife we continue to see assessments from planning officials which more or less ignore the visual impacts on the people who would live closest to the turbines if they were built.”

Mr Michaelides had been asked by the Information Commissioner to supply a copy of what the council officials have actually sent to CLPG.

He added: “In our group’s view it is totally unacceptable for the council planning bosses to behave in this way, continuously refusing to provide the requested information. It appears that only the threat of legal action forced the council to comply.”

CLPG say they now want to understand how a report recommending refusal can be subsequently turned around to recommend approval.

Mr Brown said: “Secondly, the council must commit to a policy of full transparency in the future.

“Finally, we want to get to the bottom of why there is a continuing problem trying to get both applicants and planning case officers to present proper assessments of wind turbine planning applications in Fife which take full account of the visual impact on people living in the neighbourhood of turbine proposals.”

Jim Birrell, senior manager of development and buildings at Fife Council, said: “All reports submitted for committee consideration contain a full assessment of the relevant material planning considerations, including landscape, visual and amenity factors.

“Fife Council does publish all relevant information and is currently looking at improvements to the way information on windfarm proposals is presented by applicants, including photomontages, and how Fife Council committee reports present this material, particularly in relation to impacts on individual properties.”

Source:  By Michael Alexander | The Courier | 28 October 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.