1 Aug 2012
The Scottish Government has overruled local authority bosses to approve an 11-turbine windfarm, despite significant local objection.
Dumfries and Galloway Council initially refused the development at Glenchamber, submitted by energy giants RES, because of the “adverse effects on historic environment” and “adverse landscape and visual impacts”.
RES appealed that ruling to the Scottish Government, which overturned the decision and the project will now go ahead.
It has reinforced concern among communities across Scotland that, even if the local council responds to concerns by rejecting permission for major wind developments, the SNP will step in to ensure the project happens.
The Scottish Government wants to provide 100 per cent of the country’s energy from renewable sources, and has faced criticism for overruling local councils to suit its own policies.
The decision comes at a time when some councils have asked for a halt on windfarm applications, such is the deluge from energy firms keen to capitalise on the SNP’s fondness for such developments.
Scottish Conservative rural affairs spokesman, and Galloway and West Dumfries MSP, Alex Fergusson said:
“I have no problem with windfarms being part of the general mix of energy generation that this country requires, but they need to be sited in the right places.
“The local council officials, backed by the elected councillors, took the informed view that this particular proposal was not in the appropriate location and rejected it accordingly.
“By overturning that decision the Scottish Government is overriding local knowledge, local opinion and worst of all, local democracy.
“It is no wonder that an increasing number of my constituents are raising serious concerns with me over the direction that this policy is taking.
“This type of decision will only help to increase the concerns, frustrations and anger of local people who feel that their voice no longer matters to the Scottish Government, even when it is listened to by the local council.”
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