March 4, 2015

Conservative’s wind farm moratorium plans unveiled

The Berwickshire News | Wednesday 04 March 2015 |

The Scottish Conservatives have launched an action plan for rural Scotland calling for more powers and more opportunities for all.

The plan includes a pledge for local councils to be able to place a moratorium on new wind farms and ensure people whose property prices have dropped are compensated.

Latest figures reveal the number of public objections to large-scale wind farms has doubled to around 6,000 in the last year.

When councils demanded a moratorium on wind farm applications the Scottish Government said it would be an “unprecedented step in Scottish planning practice.”

But with a moratorium on shale gas exploration announced recently the precedent has now been set.

Berwickshire MSP John Lamont said: “Regardless of your views on the merits of large scale wind farms, it should be local people deciding whether or not they are suitable for the area.

“The SNP’s obsession with wind farms has resulted in them being plastered across the Scottish Borders.

“Let’s hand more power back to local councils. It should be up to local communities whether they want a wind farm on their back door.

“So I support councils getting the right to block new wind farm applications – and compensation from developers for people whose properties fall in value as a result.”

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said of the plethora of wind farm applications in rural Scotland: “It puts a massive strain on council planning departments, which in turn causes anxiety to those in communities whose surroundings would be severely impaired.

“Onshore wind has a place as part of a balanced energy approach, but the Scottish Government has placed far too much emphasis on them.”

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