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Councils should have final say on windfarms, says local MP

Local MP David Mundell has backed his party’s call for local authorities to have the final say on windfarm schemes.

The Conservative member for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale is a keen opponent of developments such as the one proposed at Cloich Farm near Eddleston.

And his party has stated that when next in government in Westminster it will give local authorities south of the border the ultimate decision on applications. It has also announced that any additional subsidy for onshore wind would be ended.

Last year, the Scottish Conservatives announced a major energy policy review calling for subsidies to be phased out in Scotland, while the party has often criticised the Scottish Government for overruling councils when windfarm applications have been initially refused.

It was revealed last year that the SNP had overturned a third of windfarm refusals, after developers had submitted an appeal.

The Scottish Conservatives claim their research shows Scotland now plays host to more than half of the UK’s operational windfarms.

Mr Mundell said: “My views on the subject are well known: enough is enough. In this constituency we are already struggling to cope with the huge number of windfarms already built, never mind projects in the pipeline and the continued theat of expansions to existing sites.

“It’s completely unacceptable for local councils to make an informed decision on a windfarm application after consulting experts and local communities, only to be overruled by the Scottish Government in Edinburgh.”

“The SNP and senior ministers cannot keep on encouraging or approving new windfarms that aren’t wanted or supported by local communities.

“The South of Scotland already more than pulls its weight with onshore wind energy, and it’s now time to put an end to the march of turbines across our beautiful countryside.”

Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee is expected to consider the controversial proposal for Cloich Farm next month.