Concerns over local opinion being railroaded by Scottish government ministers when it comes to wind farm appeals has been raised by the Scottish Conservatives.
As appeared in last week’s ‘News’. the North Ayrshire planning committee opposed SSE’s two year extension for Hunterston’s turbine facility, due to it being ‘contrary to planning policy’ and inappropriate in design and scale to its surroundings.
SSE’s appeal to Scottish ministers resulted in North Ayrshire Council no longer being able to determine the application, and instead were asked to form an opinion on the merits of the case, to form the basis of the council’s evidence to be presented to the Scottish ministers.
It was recently reported that two thirds of wind farm developments rejected by councils last year were pushed through by the government on appeal.
Conservative councillor Tom Marshall concurred: “These have been planning matters for Scottish communities, and Scottish ministers should be showing more respect decisions made on behalf of local communities - there have been far too many refusals against wind farms being overturned by the Scottish government.”
The Scottish government stated that ‘clear planning policies’ are in place to ensure that wind farms are only put in place in appropriate locations. A spokesman said: “Planning reporters consider all relevant information and representations from the community.”