A Dunbar councillor has written to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals after an application for a community wind turbine near the town was appealed to the Scottish Government. Councillor Michael Veitch, depute leader of East Lothian Council, is unhappy about Dunbar Community Energy Company’s decision to pursue its bid for the turbine on Blackcastle Hill, after the local authority’s planning committee had unanimously rejected it at a meeting in May. Last week, he criticised the move, saying it was “deeply undemocratic”. DCECo hit back, saying it was “bemused” by Mr Veitch’s stance and adding: “We shall continue to follow the planning process to its end point, which leaves the Scottish Government as the ultimate arbiter. “If the councillor has a problem with that he should perhaps seek to amend any proposer’s right to appeal as enshrined in Scottish planning policy and not seek to limit this right only when it suits his own interest.” Mr Veitch has now written to DPEA outlining the case for why the council’s decision should not be overturned. He says the application was opposed by the local community council and residents; opposed unanimously by the committee; would be in a “highly visible” position close to the Lammermuir Hills Area of Great Landscape Value and Oldhamstocks Conservation Area; and is contrary to council policy on smaller wind turbines. In his submission, he adds: “I am concerned that authorising this development would set a dangerous precedent and encourage other developers to bring forward wind turbine applications which are contrary to the council’s planning guidance and capacity study.”
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