The Scottish Government has been accused of deliberately delaying a decision over a controversial £36 million windfarm for political reasons.
The planning and environmental appeals division at the government has confirmed that a decision is not likely to be made until late April or early May on 2020 Renewables’ plan to build eight 110-metre (360ft) tall turbines on land to the north and east of Corlic Hill, between Greenock and Port Glasgow.
They said that the independent planning expert who led the public inquiry into the windfarm plan had hoped to issue his decision on the case by early April but has been forced to put it back due to ‘the pressure of other work’.
But Conservative councillor David Wilson is outraged at sudden and unexpected news of a delay.
He claims a decision on the controversial turbines bid has been deliberately stalled until after the Scottish Parliament election on May 5.
Cllr Wilson, an outspoken critic of the proposed windfarm, said: “I think it is shocking – the public inquiry was held in September last year then there was an extra one day hearing in November to discuss one issue raised by Historic Scotland.
“So the reporter has had three months – more than enough time to consider the extra one day of evidence given that the public hearing was held back in September.
“In my view the decision has been deliberately put back by the Scottish Government until after the election.
“The only conclusion I can draw is that they are moving to approve it and because there were hundreds of objections to it, that would not help the prospects of SNP election candidates Stuart McMillan in Inverclyde and Derek McKay who is standing for Renfrewshire North and West which covers Kilmacolm, where many of the objections came from.”
The Tele approached the Scottish Government and asked them to respond to the Depute Provost of Inverclyde’s statements.
A spokeswoman told us there was no truth in Cllr Wilson’s claims over the telephone, but did not send an official government comment.
The public inquiry was sparked last year after Inverclyde Council threw out local firm 2020’s plans for the windfarm.
Bosses at 2020 then appealed in a bid to overturn the decision.