Scots wind farm developments drop by a third

The number of wind farm developments across Scotland has dropped by a third, new figures show. Picture: John Devlin

The number of wind farm developments across Scotland has dropped by a third, new figures show. Picture: John Devlin

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Scotland’s wind farm “goldrush” could be coming to an end after the number of major developments dropped by almost a third last year, official figures today show.

Planning chiefs ruled on 19 applications for major electricity generation schemes, mainly wind turbines, in 2014/15 - down from 27 the year before.

And local schemes dropped by half from 1,251 two years ago to 626 last year, although these are likely to include far more small-scale solar panel schemes.

The recent decision to cut subsidies for onshore wind farms by the UK Government is also likely to reduce future applications.

Holyrood heard calls for a moratorium on new wind farms after the growing number of applications were branded a “klondyke goldrush” by MSPs in a 2011 debate.

Eelectrictiy generation schemes could also include hydro schemes.

The fall in wind farm applications coming forward will help ease the pressure on Scotland’s planning system. Applications for electricity generation account for more more than 6% of all major decisions and have the longest average decision time of just over a year.

The figures say these can “skew” average decision times.

Major development decisions have been slower by an average of two weeks per application, today’s figures show, compared with 2013/14.

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