Pointless protests
Last week yet another wind farm was granted planning permission by Scottish Ministers despite the fact an earlier public inquiry identified that the development of Shepherd’s Rig windfarm near Cairnsmore of Carsphairn in Dumfries and Galloway “will undoubtedly have an impact on the experience of walking in the Galloway hills”.
The project was initially recommended for Refusal by two Scottish Government Reporters but as a result of a change in Scottish Government policy through the new National Planning Framework 4 and the Onshore Wind Policy Statement, the Reporters were forced to change their recommendation to Ministers as apparently the contribution to renewable energy targets now outweighs significant landscape and visual effects.
Mountaineering Scotland’s CEO Stuart Younie said: “Under the new policy framework renewable energy companies will be looking forward to generating big profits at the expense of our world-class landscape and we should all be very concerned about what our country is going to look like over the next 10-20 years and the potential impact this new policy will have on some of our wild and most beautiful areas.”
What is the point of having a planning system when the opinions of the public and statutory consultees are completely ignored; we might as well not bother. That, of course, is what the Scottish Government is aiming for.
Aileen Jackson, Scotland Against Spin, Uplawmoor, East Renfrewshire

SAS Volunteer

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