A millionaire Tory MSP has been accused of “hypocrisy” over his opposition to onshore windfarm developments.
Alexander Burnett – reportedly Holyrood’s richest member – asked the Scottish Government if ministers would consider halting the construction of more turbines until an update to their energy strategy is published.
The Conservative made the call in response to local opposition to a proposed windfarm extension in Clashindarroch in rural Aberdeenshire.
Burnett has previously declared windfarms are “damaging Scotland’s countryside”.
But the Record revealed in 2019 how the landowning MSP was a trustee of the Fordie Trust – which erected two turbines near the village of Torphins in Royal Deeside after receiving planning permission in 2013.
Burnett’s register of interests states the Fordie Trust owns property in Aberdeenshire with a market value of between £5,400,001 and £5,500,000 – but added the MSP did not expect to receive any income from it during the current parliamentary term.
A Conservative spokesman said the two turbines erected by the trust were on a farm and not comparable to a large-scale commercial windfarm.
Gillian Martin accused Burnett of not putting the interests of his constituents first.
The SNP MSP for Aberdeen East said: “Alexander Burnett believes he should receive preferential treatment and that the rules affecting everyone else are not for the likes of him, which is at best hypocritical, and at worst against the best interests of those he is elected to represent.
“While Alexander Burnett and his party continue to pursue their own self interests in parliament, the SNP Scottish Government will continue to progress Scotland’s renewables revolution through a just transition, which is what is best for the people of the North East who are increasingly looking to us to provide sustainable energy security, and to put people with energy bills to pay first.”
The existing Clashindarroch wind farm was approved in 2012 and built in 2015.
More than 100 representations have been received by the Scottish Government over the plans for its extension.
A spokesman for Burnett said: “Alexander asked a question on behalf of constituents following a public meeting, which was also attended by SNP MSP Richard Lochhead.
“These heard local concerns about five industrial scale windfarms, which are present or being considered on the edge of the Cairngorms.
“These will be 45,000 times the output of two domestic turbines.
“Gillian Martin should probably focus on working more for her constituents, or maybe ask some questions on their behalf.”https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/…/millionaire-tory-msp…

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