On Wednesday 27 October, during Portfolio questions, Oliver Mundell MSP asked Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, about reports that wind farm developers are offering payments to local residents in return for signing non-disclosure agreements and not objecting to planning applications. Anyone taking a “financial incentive” would be in a difficult situation should they encounter problems such as noise nuisance or pollution of private water supplies once construction is underway.
The Minister refused to be drawn on the issue as, he said, it was connected to a “live planning matter” and the Scottish Ministers had not yet received the Report. Unfortunately there will be a long wait before they receive that, possibly a year or more!
Offering cash and cheap electricity is nothing new, particularly if it is considered that some property owners are likely to be “difficult”. The buying out of properties to give them more room to put up even more turbines has happened previously. As suitable sites for ever taller wind turbines become more difficult to find we will witness further ingenious ways of “persuading” affected neighbours to accept these monstrosities closer to their homes, leaving them unable to complain when the worst happens.
This situation needs to be addressed now, not years down the line when many more people may have been affected.
Aileen Jackson, Uplawmoor, East Renfrewshire
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