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Timing of wind energy survey questioned

25 Apr 2012

The Scottish Conservatives have questioned the timing of an announcement on the impact of windfarms, released today by the Scottish Government.

The report, carried out with Visit Scotland, is nine months old, but was released a day before Donald Trump is set to appear in the Scottish Parliament to give evidence

Scottish Conservative energy spokeswoman Mary Scanlon said:

“It looks highly suspicious that this news has been released 24 hours before such a high profile visit.

“The SNP has to answer questions on why this was published today, when presumably it has been sitting waiting for publication for several months.

“There are also questions within the report that demand being addressed. It states 80 per cent of people are relaxed about windfarms, but can we afford to ignore the 20 per cent who are not? Do we want a fifth of tourists who come to Scotland needlessly leaving vowing not to return?

“I’d prefer to hear from tourism operators whose living depends on visitors, and I’m disappointed our national tourism organisation does not value the unique scenery Scotland has, including the Highlands and Islands which is Europe’s last remaining wilderness.

“It is another issue of timing the First Minister must answer to. Why did he wait months before telling the Scottish Parliament about Doosan pulling out of a wind energy deal; why did he break purdah rules on his council tax support announcement; and why has this report been held back until a day before such a crunch meeting.

“Communities across Scotland are becoming increasingly concerned about the march of windfarms across their areas.

“They will not be comforted by the deceptive timing of this release.”