Growing public opposition to large-scale windfarm developments is being ignored by the Scottish Government, an MSP has claimed.
Following a parliamentary question by Murdo Fraser it emerged that more people complained to the Scottish Government over wind turbines this year than in any since 2010, with nearly 6,000 submitting their opposition to planned 50 megawatt developments.
Since 2010 nearly 24,000 people have registered their opposition to wind developments and the number of objectors in 2014 is more than double those in previous year.
In Angus, developments at sites such as Nathro Hill have united people and conservation charities, including the John Muir Trust, in opposition, said Mr Fraser.
He said: “The fact these objections have doubled in the last year shows the sheer strength of feeling among the public.
“This isn’t people complaining about a single turbine in someone’s back garden.
“These are major developments that go straight to the Scottish Government because they are deemed too big for councils to consider.”
Plans for the largest industrial-scale windfarm in Angus were ditched in October this year.
The 17-turbine Nathro Hill development in Glen Lethnot, near Edzell, would have been the biggest of its kind in the county.
The £80 million project was set to be determined by a reporter appointed by Scottish ministers but objectors were notified the applicant, Eurowind UK, has withdrawn its bid.
David Gibson, chief officer of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, said: “We welcome the news that the developer has withdrawn this ill-advised development.
“Given its proximity to the Cairngorms National Park it should never have been lodged in the first place and we would have opposed it at every stage.”
The firm had faced an uphill battle after Angus Council officials recommended objection on the grounds the landscape and visual impact would be too great.
Mr Fraser said the major applications may fit the Scottish Government’s own policy, but are completely unacceptable to the people who have to live beside them.
“Developments planned at Rannoch Moor and Crossburns have awakened massive opposition,” he said, adding. “Windfarms the size of skyscrapers are not wanted on beautiful wild land.”
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