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    'More say’ on onshore wind farms

    March 24, 2023 - John O'Groat Journal


      Hopes that communities can have a greater say in major wind farm developments affecting their area have been lifted by a parliamentary committee’s response to a petition on the issue.

      It asks the Scottish Government to look at ways of ensuring that "demonstration of local support is a key material consideration in the decision-making process".

      In March 2021, Scotland Against Spin lodged a petition seeking stronger powers for communities to influence planning decisions relating to onshore wind.

      Scotland Against Spin wants English-style planning legislation to be adopted north of the border, saying: "In England, planning permission for a wind farm depends on a project being able to demonstrate local support, satisfactorily address any impacts identified by the community and make sure strong environmental protections remain."

      The Scottish Parliament’s Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee considered the Scotland Against Spin petition in January and has now written to Scotland’s minister for public finance, planning and community wealth, Tom Arthur.

      In the letter, committee chairman Jackson Carlaw, a former Scottish Conservative leader, calls for further research into how support could be provided for communities wishing to take part in public inquiries into planning decisions.

      He states: "In determining applications for onshore wind farm developments, the committee further recommends that the Scottish Government explore opportunities to ensure that demonstration of local support is a key material consideration in the decision-making process."

      The committee has asked the minister to respond by April 17.


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