A group of 14 green activist organisations including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Green Alliance have called on the UK government to “unblock” onshore wind development whilst acknowledging that decision-making should be given to local communities.
Onshore wind development is not “blocked” by any stretch of the imagination in Scotland – the very opposite – but if these Green organisations truly believe that decision-making should be left to local communities then they should be saying as much to the Scottish Government.
Local communities in Scotland may be consulted on onshore windfarms but it is nothing more than a tick-box exercise as no matter what we say or how much evidence we produce as to why consent should not be granted for a wind farm, it will be ignored by Scottish Ministers on nearly every occasion.
Maybe these organisations would like to have a word with the Minister for Finance, Planning and Community Wealth who is being consulted on the Scotland Against Spin Petition to the Scottish Parliament at this very moment. It calls for, amongst other things, to “Increase the ability of communities to influence planning decisions for onshore windfarms”.
Even if policy is relaxed in England, consent will still only be granted if there is community support, a vastly much fairer system than in Scotland where rural communities are considered to be nothing more than “barriers to deployment” according to the recent Scottish Government Onshore Wind Policy Statement.
Aileen Jackson, Uplawmoor, East Renfrewshire
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