Aberdeenshire and Angus energy pylon communities have "right to be heard"

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie hosted a public meeting on the SSEN Kintore to Tealing energy transmission route in Laurencekirk on Saturday (February 17).
The public meeting was well attended.The public meeting was well attended.
The public meeting was well attended.

Held at Mearns Community Campus, the panel included Ian Thornton-Kemsley of property experts Galbraith, and Tracey Smith of campaign group Save Our Mearns.

It was attended by residents as well as campaigners from Deeside Against Pylons, Save Our Mearns and Angus Pylon Action Group.

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Conservative MP Mr Bowie told attendees one of the major issues regarding the energy transmission network is that offshore and onshore windfarms are being built far faster than the technology to carry the power.

Current Scottish Government plans to increase the rate of installation and remove the right of public inquiry at local authority level were also discussed.

Mr Bowie said: “The transmission route affects many communities along its entire length, with different impacts on farming, housing and visual amenity.

“Local people are the greatest experts on the places and landscape they live in.

"And they are rightly worried about the amount of information and discussion they have with SSEN, which I have been trying to rectify.

“They are also concerned that the Scottish Government, which wields the power of planning consent for all this development, won’t consider local objections or indeed requests for local inquiry by councils.

“At every stage of the consultation and planning process, it's vital everyone affected gets involved. It is clear there are areas where alternatives are needed. And when a community says no, it’s their democratic right to be heard.”