Wildcat Haven, United Kingdom
7 JUN 2021 —
As you all know, we have been trying to understand why the Scottish government is so intent on clear felling large areas of the Clashindarroch, jeopardising the most significant population of wildcats in existence, for a wind farm that could easily be placed elsewhere. We have tried to get hold of the financial agreements between the developer ( Vattenfall) and the Scottish government. This information should be publicly available but isn’t and so we appealed to the Scottish Information Commissioner to get agreed. They agreed with our legal appeal and have now forced the scottish government to release at least some information.
We always suspected that the government’s reluctance to release this information, suggests that they have something to hide. The documents we have received only confirm our suspicions.
We are still scrutinising the documents but these are the initial key points we want to share with you:
• They show that there is a deal whereby the more wind turbines at the site, the greater revenue received by the Scottish Government. No real surprise that it is profit that’s the major driver
• Vattenfall staff have evidently been training the Government’s regulatory agency (such as, on how to assess landscape and visual impacts). So we have a case of the developer training government staff who are supposed to regulating them !!!!!
Vattenfall is also paying for Government ‘liaison’ agency staff. Discussions between them are not being recorded formally but noted only as “action points”.
• Negotiations on a revised land arrangement for the Option Extension have not yet been concluded but commercial terms have been agreed. This means that Vattenfall is now proceeding with the application without a land lease in place. You couldn’t make it up.
In summary, we have the almost unbelievable situation where a developer is training government staff who are supposed to be the regulators, they are having cosy discussions with government officials that are not formally documented, and most bizarrely of all, Vattenfall are embarking on a potentially multi million pound project without even a land lease deal in place. In short this stinks and it suggests that somebody senior in government has already given Vattenfall the assurances they need.
We are getting closer and closer to the truth and shining a light on something that was intended to be buried. What is clear, is that the population of wildcats at the Clashindarroch is being betrayed by the Scottish government for profit. Scary thing is, if we had not found the wildcats there and launched this campaign, the wildcats would have gone without anyone even knowing they were there. Thankfully, with your support we can expose and ultimately stop what the government seemed determined to push through- the destruction of the most important wildcat population in existence