Campaigners are demanding a halt to the number of wind farms being built – warning unsightly turbines are scarring the landscape.
Lobby group Save Our Hills said the rapid rollout of the sites poses a ‘grave risk’ to tourism.
This year alone, applications have been lodged to erect more than 2,300 turbines in Scotland.
Save Our Hills spokesman Iain Milligan, a retired QC based in Dumfriesshire, said: ‘Scotland is in the process of considering what its energy future may look like and that’s perfectly reasonable. But communities, particularly in the
South-West, are at saturation point with wind farm development.
‘It’s time for other sources to be investigated and for Government to understand that a fairer balance has to be struck between development and preserving the landscape.
‘People have had enough and will not put up with the further spread of enormous wind farms which wreck the landscape and local ecology, risk damaging property prices, jeopardise businesses – particularly tourism – and bring nothing of significant benefit to the community.’
The group wants councils and the Government to slow the spread of onshore turbines and for consultation periods for all wind farms in the planning stage to be extended until Covid restrictions have eased, to allow for maximum scrutiny.
Save Our Hills also backs compensation for residents and businesses adversely affected by turbines, and fewer foreign-owned companies profiting from developments.
Applications for 2,314 turbines in Scotland have been lodged this year, according to the UK Government’s renewable energy planning database. Of those, permission was granted for 767 new turbines, while 137 were under construction by September this year.
Last month, it emerged that non-Scottish companies had been profiting from record subsidies to build wind farms. The payments – of around £1.3 billion last year – were made under the renewables obligation scheme, set up in 2002 by the UK Government.
Last night, the Scottish Government said: ‘Assessing the effect on landscape forms a key part of all wind farm applications, and is fully considered together with cultural heritage, economic and community effects. Our planning and consenting system ensures local communities have their say.’
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