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Scotland’s planning authorities receive scores of windfarm bids

23 Dec 2014

Murdo Fraser MSP

Windfarm companies have submitted planning bids for nearly 200 major developments over the last 18 months, figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have shown.

The Freedom of Information statistics revealed the level of applications for windfarms of more than three turbines, with rural local authorities bearing the brunt of the submissions.

As well as applications for large developments, there were also 1178 requests for smaller scale wind projects – working out at nearly three a day.

The Western Isles received the most applications for windfarms in that time period, followed by Dumfries and Galloway and Highland.

Among the planning bids lodged for major developments include the controversial Talladh-a-Bheithe project in Perth and Kinross; a 26-turbine application at Strathy near Thurso; and the Crystal Rigg windfarm in the Borders, with turbines hitting 135 metres.

The Scottish Conservatives have previously called for local authorities to be granted a year-long moratorium in dealing with new windfarm proposals, allowing them to spend more time dealing with the current influx.

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said:

“These figures show the stream of windfarm applications to Scotland’s rural councils shows no sign of easing.

“The SNP’s ludicrous targets and constant rhetoric on wind energy has given these companies the green light to submit application after application.

“It puts a massive strain on council planning departments, which in turn causes anxiety to those in communities whose surroundings would be severely impaired.

“Onshore wind has a place as part of a balanced energy approach, but the Scottish Government has placed far too much emphasis on them.

“Windfarms are intermittent, unreliable and expensive – for the SNP to be so utterly dependent on them is naïve and potentially damaging.”

Notes to editors:

Below are tables, obtained through Freedom of Information by the Scottish Conservatives, showing the number of windfarm and wind turbine applications in Scotland:
 
Number of wind farm (Over 3x turbines) applications in last 18 months
 
Aberdeen
0
Aberdeenshire
7
Angus
5
Argyll and Bute
13
Clackmannanshire
0
Dumfries & Galloway
29
Dundee
1
East Ayrshire
10
East Dunbartonshire
0
East Lothian
3
East Renfrewshire
0
Edinburgh
0
Eilean Siar
32
Falkirk
1
Fife
3
Glasgow
0
Highland
21
Inverclyde
1
Midlothian
3
Moray
3
North Ayrshire
8
North Lanarkshire
4
Orkney
0
Perthshire & Kinross
6
Renfrewshire
0
Scottish Borders
15
Shetland
0
South Ayrshire
7
South Lanarkshire
4
Stirling
1
West Dunbartonshire
1
West Lothian
20
Total
185
 
 
 
 
Total number of wind turbine applications in last 18 months
 
Aberdeen
4
Aberdeenshire
151
Angus
58
Argyll and Bute
13
Clackmannanshire
3
Dumfries & Galloway
122
Dundee
1
East Ayrshire
79
East Dunbartonshire
5
East Lothian
16
East Renfrewshire
16
Edinburgh
0
Eilean Siar
60
Falkirk
20
Fife
157
Glasgow
0
Highland
43
Inverclyde
6
Midlothian
6
Moray
16
North Ayrshire
33
North Lanarkshire
50
Orkney
81
Perthshire & Kinross
41
Renfrewshire
6
Scottish Borders
68
Shetland
63
South Ayrshire
35
South Lanarkshire
67
Stirling
6
West Dunbartonshire
1
West Lothian
149
Total
1363