[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Get weekly updates

when your community is targeted


RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Paypal

Donate via Stripe

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

News Watch Home

Petition response raises hopes of communities having more say on wind farms 

Credit:  By Alan Hendry | Published: 21 March 2023 | northern-times.co.uk ~~

Hopes that communities can have a greater say in major wind farm developments affecting their area have been lifted by a parliamentary committee’s response to a petition on the issue.

It asks the Scottish Government to look at ways of ensuring that “demonstration of local support is a key material consideration in the decision-making process”.

In March 2021, Scotland Against Spin lodged a petition seeking stronger powers for communities to influence planning decisions relating to onshore wind. The group has voiced concern over large-scale wind farms in Caithness and Sutherland.

Onshore developments above 50 megawatts are determined by the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the Electricity Act. Residents have been left feeling powerless when projects have been given the go-ahead by ministers despite local opposition.

A current example is the planned 19-turbine Golticlay wind farm near Lybster. Highland Council objected in September 2017, saying it would have “a significantly detrimental visual impact on the Caithness landscape”.

A public inquiry was held in October the following year and the application was granted in March 2021, having been dealt with under Section 36.

Now the developer, RWE Renewables UK Onshore Wind, is seeking to increase the maximum blade-tip height of the turbines from 130 to 200 metres.

One objector claimed last month: “There is no democracy in Scotland – it’s a dictatorship. Unless we’re in the central belt, we don’t count, basically.”

Scotland Against Spin wants English-style planning legislation to be adopted north of the border, saying: “In England, planning permission for a wind farm depends on a project being able to demonstrate local support, satisfactorily address any impacts identified by the community and make sure strong environmental protections remain so that valued landscapes are protected.”

The Scottish Parliament’s Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee considered the Scotland Against Spin petition in January and has now written to Scotland’s minister for public finance, planning and community wealth, Tom Arthur.

In the letter, committee chairman Jackson Carlaw, a former Scottish Conservative leader, calls for further research into how support could be provided for communities wishing to take part in public inquiries into planning decisions, particularly those relating to onshore wind.

He states: “The committee also recommends that the Scottish Government explore the scope for planning authorities to determine more applications for onshore wind farm developments. In determining applications for onshore wind farm developments, the committee further recommends that the Scottish Government explore opportunities to ensure that demonstration of local support is a key material consideration in the decision-making process.”

The committee has asked the minister to respond by April 17.

A spokesperson for Scotland Against Spin said: “We hope for a sensible response from the Scottish Government.”

In December, plans to dramatically expand Scotland’s onshore wind industry in the coming years were condemned by the group as “another example of suppression of rural voices” in areas such as Caithness and Sutherland.

Graham Lang, chairman of Scotland Against Spin, accused the Scottish Government of refusing to listen to the concerns of residents by pushing for “wall-to-wall wind farms”.

He was reacting to the announcement that Scotland’s onshore wind capacity will more than double by 2030 in a bid to further cut harmful emissions and support the energy sector’s net-zero process.

Source:  By Alan Hendry | Published: 21 March 2023 | northern-times.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)
Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)


e-mail X FB LI TG TG Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook

Wind Watch on Linked In Wind Watch on Mastodon