27 Aug 2012
The SNP has overruled a Scottish council by granting planning permission for six huge wind turbines.
Moray Council refused the application for the windfarm in Keith, while nearby Aberdeenshire Council and Scottish Natural Heritage also voiced concerns about the development.
Despite those fears, the Scottish Government accepted an appeal by the developers and the proposal for the 125 metre turbines will now go ahead.
In a separate case revealed today, the SNP has not only overturned an application for a single turbine in Fife, but ordered the local authority to part reimburse the applicant’s appeal costs on the grounds it acted unreasonably.
The decisions come a month after a major development in Dumfries and Galloway, rejected by the local council, was waved through by the Scottish Government in a bid to meet its 100 per cent renewable energy targets.
It is the latest indication of the SNP’s windfarm obsession, and comes only months after ministers ordered local authorities to set aside preferred areas for windfarms in each area.
Scottish Conservative MSP and convener of the Scottish Parliament energy committee, Murdo Fraser, said:
“Here we have another example of the SNP charging through local democracy and overturning a council’s decision to suit its own policies.
“What kind of message does it send out to the public if the Scottish Government can step in at any point it wants to reverse a democratic decision?
“People will look at this decision, and others, and wonder what the point is in having local planning committees if any ruling they make can be overthrown at the click of a finger.
“The SNP’s obsession with windfarms is unrelenting, risks spoiling Scotland’s countryside and is underpinned by a policy on renewable energy nobody is convinced by.”