Wind Farms (Removal of Objections)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 8th September 2022.

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Photo of Oliver Mundell Oliver Mundell Conservative

7. To ask the Scottish Government whether it supports property purchases, direct payments to property owners and the use of non-disclosure agreements as a means of removing objections to large-scale wind farm applications. (S6O-01346)

Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government does not support such measures. Our planning and consenting systems ensure that all relevant parties, including individuals and local communities, can have their say on development proposals, including for large-scale wind farms. It is beneficial for all those with an interest in a proposal to provide their comments where they wish to do so. I cannot recommend that individuals give up their right to comment, but, if they choose to do so, that is a matter for them.

Photo of Oliver Mundell Oliver Mundell Conservative

I thank the minister for that very clear answer. We should make no mistakeā€”such agreements are destroying rural communities, turbocharging rural depopulation and changing the character of our uplands for ever. Will the minister urgently seek a review as to how such impacts are monitored and assessed during the application process? Sadly, these agreements are becoming the new norm, and they are corrupting our planning process.

Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

I thank the member for his supplementary question. I am happy to consider what he has asked me to do. I would also welcome the opportunity to meet him to discuss that in more detail, particularly if he can provide evidence on the matters that he has raised.