Time to air objections

You report (4 March) that objectors to a proposed wind farm on Lewis have "excluded themselves from giving evidence at a public enquiry because they requested confidentiality in their objections". Fortunately, this is not the case.

The planning system involves the open and transparent exchange of information and it is important that all parties to a public enquiry are aware of the position of others. This means there is no scope for an objection from a member of the public to be marked "confidential" yet for its terms still to be taken into account. To do so could be unfair to others.

The procedure meeting that will take place on Friday in Stornoway is the forum for agreeing the arrangements for the public enquiry. Should any of the objectors decide they now wish to make a public objection, rather than seeking confidentiality, they can make their position clear at the meeting or by writing, and ask to take part in the enquiry.

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The arrangements for the public enquiry will, in any event, be advertised in the local press.

JAMES McCULLOCH, Chief reporter and director for planning and environmental appeals, Scottish Government, Edinburgh

It is now generally accepted, in scientific circles at least, that the global population explosion coupled with the notion that progress is identical with never-ending industrial expansion is the major cause of the present environmental crisis.

In view of the fact that England now has a projected estimated population of 70 million, and that the Labour government plans to build three million new houses, perhaps we should be grateful Scotland is still less-heavily overpopulated.

South of the Border it appears that the British government will not rest until overcrowding is terminal and every unexploited green space has disappeared under the weight of detritus from urban development. At least in Scotland we are still in a position to address the energy crisis and the problems of overcrowding. This will involve abandoning the curious notion that environmental planning is a barrier to "progress".

(DR) DAVID PURVES, Strathalmond Road, Edinburgh