Tories insist no wind turbines within 2km of homes

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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ALL wind farms would be built at least two kilometres (one-and-a-quarter miles) away from housing in Scotland under plans to be unveiled by the Conservatives today.

The party warns that turbine numbers in Scotland will rise to more than 5,000 as the SNP moves ahead with plans to generate all of Scotland’s electricity from green energy sources like wind, wave and hydro.

The Nationalist government says it backs two-thirds of local decisions on turbines and the renewables industry provides “essential jobs and investment”.

However, Tory leader Ruth Davidson will say: “It is not fair that anyone should have to live in the shadow of a turbine.

“The SNP may think it’s acceptable to plaster the countryside with windfarms, spoiling the scenery, but the least it could do is offer some kind of quality control on the policy.

“Invoking the two kilometre limit would simply be enforcing the rules that are there, but in too many cases have been ignored.”

Local planning guidelines suggest a two kilometre distance, but this is repeatedly ignored.

The Scottish Conservatives will call on the SNP to ensure legislation is properly enforced to better protect the value of people’s homes. The plan would apply only to new turbines, not those already built.

The Tories will unveil an energy policy titled Power And Responsibility. They will say the Government has “overshot” its own energy targets years early, and could be producing up to 134 per cent of electricity for renewable sources before long.

The party will also urge ministers to carry out a rigid health assessment of turbines to reassure communities living nearby.

There are an estimated 1,996 operational turbines across Scotland, a figure expected to rise to 3,295 once those already given consent come into operation.

A further 1,873 are in planning, meaning Scotland could have a combined total of 5,168 turbines in coming years, not including those yet to be submitted to planners.

An inquiry by Holyrood’s economy committee earlier this year found there was no “robust” evidence that windfarms were a threat to the tourism industry, as suggested by US tycoon Donald Trump, who criticised an offshore development adjacent to his Aberdeenshire golf resort.

The Government said it has “yet to receive any credible, peer-reviewed evidence that wind turbines adversely impact health” even though studies have found that industrial turbine developments “disturbed the sleep and caused daytime sleepiness and impaired mental health in residents living within 1.4km”.