Windfarms are ‘waved through’ by SNP ministers

Two-thirds of local windfarm refusals by councils are overturned by ministers in Edinburgh. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
Two-thirds of local windfarm refusals by councils are overturned by ministers in Edinburgh. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
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Windfarms are still being “waved through” in Scotland by SNP ministers, new figures show.

Two-thirds of turbine developments blocked by local councils this year won approval after the Scottish Government overturned the original decision.

Supporters of turbines say they provided enough electricity to the national grid to supply the needs of 87 per cent of Scottish households, according to separate figures published today.

The SNP has been criticised for the pushing ahead with a national roll-out of windfarms across Scotland despite local objections The Tories have now published research which shows that 17 cases where windfarms were rejected by councils resulted in appeals being submitted to ministers in Edinburgh for them rule on. Of these, ministers backed the local council on just six occasions - and overturned the local decision 11 times.

It means windfarm developers have a success rate on appeal of 64 per cent.

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Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: “Too often, when these applications are lodged, the people say no, council planners say no and local elected representatives say no.

“You’d think the Scottish Government would respect this, yet still we see ministers in Edinburgh pulling ranks and acting like they know what’s best for rural Scotland.

“Of course wind energy has a place in Scotland’s energy mix, but only when the turbines are not ruining local scenery and upsetting those who have to see them every day.”

Communities across Scotland have complained about too many turbines spoiling local scenery.

WWF Scotland today revealed that wind turbines in Scotland provided 792,717MWh of electricity to the National Grid in October. This is enough to supply, on average, the needs of 87 per cent of Scottish households, more than 2 million homes, and up by more than a quarter on last year. This would meet 38 per cent of the country’s entire electricity needs, which also business and industry.

WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power is helping Scotland to avoid over a million tonnes of polluting carbon emissions every month.”

Delegates from 200 countries are gathering in Morocco for the start of UN climate talks, aiming to progress climate change action.