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Call for SNP to admit people ‘fed-up’ with wind farms

The Scottish Conservatives have claimed the SNP must acknowledge that people are “fed-up” with wind farm developments.

The party’s energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said turbines “springing up all over the place” damaged the landscape for thousands of residents and tourists.

“In pressing on with their wind farm obsession the Scottish Government are failing to recognise that the planning process for these developments is a complete mess,” he added.

“With guidelines not being followed and local residents not prepared for the visual and noise impacts it is ludicrous for the SNP to put such emphasis on intermittent and unreliable energy sources.”

Mr Fraser said it was now time for the SNP to rethink its energy policy and look at different options.

“Our policy is to have a balanced energy provision, including renewables, nuclear, oil and gas,” he added.

“This would create more opportunities, safeguard valuable jobs, and keep down costs to the consumer.”

Independent Highland anti-wind farm campaigner, Lyndsey Ward from Beauly near Inverness, said the study suggested areas where more research needed to be done and better practice developed.

“There is no whitewash but neither is there a greenwash – people’s complaints and concerns are real,” she added.

“All that remains is for the Scottish Government to announce how it intends to implement these recommendations and start protecting its citizens.”

Ms Ward claimed the wind industry now needed to “step up to the plate” and put the needs and rights of communities first in the areas it wanted to develop.

The report was welcomed by Scotland Against Spin, a national organisation which campaigns for reform of wind energy policy.

Spokeswoman Linda Holt said the recommendations showed that the planning system was “ill-equipped” to address potentially adverse impacts on wind farm neighbours.

“For too long, decision-makers on wind farms have been asked to determine applications while blindfolded about the true impacts of placing enormous industrial machines near people’s homes,” she added.

“Growing international evidence that turbine noise is a health hazard underlines the pressing need for a full-scale investigation.”