Having watched live the North Planning Application Committee meeting of April 26, during which planning permission was granted for a wind farm at Sallachy, I am questioning why I submitted an objection, as objections were minimally referred to and appeared to be given little consideration, writes Alice Clutterbuck.
The previous application, thrown out by Scottish Ministers in 2015 – deemed unsuitable for this wildland area – was “cut, pasted and moulded” into shape, resubmitted and approved by councillors in approximately 45 minutes with cursory debate.
The presentation, that could easily have been made by a WKN salesman, was applauded and rubber-stamped. Sadly, the amended turbine height conveniently circumvents the rule automatically referring the decision back to Scottish Ministers.
The limited debate questioned NatureScot’s clear objections about the infringement of the national scenic and wildland designations with the chairman saying: “Are they taking into account all of the other planning like reasons or do they (NS) primarily just object on their sort of set of criteria because I do kind of wonder when we get an objection from left-field from NS.”
NatureScot is a nationally recognised body and key consultee in these cases for the Government and it is concerning how its thorough and crucial objection was so superficially addressed.
Additionally, Rogart’s objection to the massive increase in transport difficulties within this proposal, was barely considered.
The planning officer’s noting that support letters were largely generic and pre-printed was not addressed. On the contrary, there was a happy declaration that there was a lot of local support, belying the fact that there is little support where the actual turbines will be placed.
The only glimmer of hope was a third-party request, to call in the decision to the Scottish Ministers. Let’s hope that they have accepted and will at least give this a fairer hearing.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding