Highlands “in dire straits” as support urged for onshore wind petition
Support is being sought in the Highlands for a petition calling on the Scottish government to give communities more voice in planning decisions for onshore wind farms, with 10 days before the submission deadline.
The public petition was filed in March by Scotland Against Spin (SAS), which wants powers to be given to local authorities and communities so that they can make their own decisions on wind farm demands “and not make them cancel by Scottish ministers “.
The lobby group was told this week that members of the public now have the option to send submissions to Holyrood’s public petitions committee. In order for the petition to be heard before Parliament’s summer recess, submissions must be tabled by June 14.
SAS says the Highland region is “in dire straits” with more than 500 wind turbines in the planning system in addition to the 770 existing.
Earlier this year, the group said the decision to approve the Golticlay wind farm in Caithness underlined the need for a reform of the Scottish planning system to better reflect local opinion.
SAS Chairman Graham Lang said: â€œIf the Scottish Government truly believes that most of our rural communities are more supportive of the development of onshore wind farms, then they should have nothing to fear from this petition.
â€œThe Highland region in particular is in dire straits with 533 turbines currently being planned in addition to the 770 already in service.
â€œWe have many members in the area who are aware of the petition and will respond to it, but there may be some who have not been informed and these are the people we are trying to reach. their own relevant stories to tell and the Public Petitions Committee wants to hear them.
“We understand that it takes a lot more effort to write a submission rather than just putting your name on a petition, but this extra effort will have a lot more effect and could make a real difference in the future for communities. rural across Scotland A public petition like this, addressed directly to the Scottish Parliament, means that the government must be consulted and must respond – it cannot be opted out.
“We urge everyone to make their voices heard.”
The petition calls on parliament to urge the Scottish government to increase the capacity of communities to influence planning decisions for onshore wind farms by:
- Adopt UK planning legislation for determining onshore wind farm developments
- Empower local authorities to ensure that communities receive sufficient professional support to engage in the planning process
- Appoint an independent lawyer to ensure that local participants are not â€œintimidated and intimidatedâ€ during public inquiries
Details are available at http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/windfarms
Submissions should be emailed to pÃ©email@example.com by June 14th. SAS says, â€œIf you have the time, please also contact your MSPs or any groups or individuals who may not be aware of the petition and encourage them to get involved.
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