The Scottish Government has been urged not to “bow to pressure” from energy companies who are opposed to proposals to ban windfarms from wild lands.
Conservative energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said organisations such as Scottish Power, SSE and Scottish Renewables had made it clear they did not want areas of wild land being designated turbine-free zones and were not in favour of plans to stop developments being built within 1.9miles of villages and towns.
In a written statement to Holyrood’s energy committee, Scottish Power said: “We view the proposals for a separation distance of 1.9 miles between settlements and windfarms, and a perceived presumption against onshore windfarms in core areas of wild land, as disproportionate.”
SSE suggested the proposals could “seriously undermine and jeopardise” energy firms’ ability to meet the government’s policy objectives and claimed the changes were not “necessary or justified”.
By contrast, environmental charity the John Muir Trust and Scottish Environment Link have told MSPs the proposed planning measures do not go far enough.
Mr Fraser, committee convener, said: “There is a clear contrast in views between those who want to protect the environment and countryside, and those who stand to make vast amounts of money from windfarm development.
“The Scottish Government should be coming down on the side of Scotland’s landscape – it cannot now bow to pressure from those with such a blatant vested interest.”
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