21 Aug 2012
New guidance has been launched by the Scottish Government to make windfarm planning applications run more smoothly.
It was also announced that the SNP would be leading an EU drive to “optimise social acceptance” of windfarms – effectively trying to bring the public on board with its wind energy agenda.
The SNP stated changes to planning guidelines would help it realise its objective of producing 100 per cent of Scotland’s energy by renewables.
Scottish Conservative energy spokeswoman Mary Scanlon MSP said:
“While it is welcome the Scottish Government wants a planning system which runs smoothly for all, at some stage developers and communities will disagree, and it is not clear how this will be overcome.
“Other than reiterate its ‘ambitious’ renewable energy target, the SNP has not said what it will do to ease the fears of communities across the country.
“Guidance may be useful, but the fact is the SNP wants to continue developing windfarms across Scotland, often in the face of strong local opposition.
“The information in this report is based on the EU Good Practice Wind Project, which is underpinned by a section on ‘optimising social acceptance’.
“This ignores the fact that some communities will have different opinions and legitimate concerns about the impact of windfarms, regardless of any Scottish Government propaganda.
“Spinning the facts to make it sound positive is not a solution.”