SAS Comment on Aberdeenshire turbine numbers, where the majority of turbines that have been consented remain unbuilt as yet:

Not seeing turbines which have been consented lulls people into a false sense of security. This is very dangerous as many areas of Scotland such as Aberdeenshire are well past saturation point, yet Councillors continue consenting the never-ending stream of applications, hoping one more will make little difference.

Of the turbines you can presently see in Scotland, about the same number again have been consented but not yet built, with the same number again in the planning system awaiting consent.  In areas like Aberdeenshire where there are more individual turbine developments and comparatively few large wind farms, the proportion of as yet unbuilt turbines is much higher. 

No one has accurate figures for consented turbines across the country – not the government, not SNH, not local authorities. The official data that does exist such as the SNH wind farm map is riddled with errors and omits hundreds of turbines. Policies on cumulative impact are out of date as soon as they are published, and in any case, consultees and decision-makers rarely have comprehensive information about all turbine developments in a given area. 
It is hard not to suspect that the Scottish Government has deliberately failed to collect accurate data on consented turbines for fear of the public outcry it would provoke. It’s much easier to keep pushing a policy through if people are kept in the dark as to its full impact.
In practice, a scatter-gun approach has characterised planning for turbines in Aberdeenshire. A moratorium is long overdue. The people of Aberdeenshire should be given the opportunity to take proper stock and consider if and where any space exists for more turbines.

SAS Volunteer

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