According to the Press and Journal newspaper, Scotland Office minister Ann Mckechin went flying on the proverbial banana-skin on Tuesday. She spoke in Parliament in Westminster, criticising the rejection by the Scottish Government of the Lewis Windpower Plan for North Lewis. You'll remember, 180 turbines, each 450 feet tall, stretching the 45 miles from Port of Ness via Bragar to Stornoway. The planning application was turned down as the windfarm violated an area, subject to a European Habitat Directive, which, would have subjected the UK government to very large fines indeed. The Scottish Government was therefore correct in rejecting the application.
It is a pity that our MP did not quote these reasons when replying to the Minister, instead saying that you can't foist something on people if they don't want it.
Ms Mckechin stated that the windfarm would have made a large contribution towards the renewable energy targets, set by the UK government. I am fed up to the back teeth with "targets". The same argument has been bandied about in relation to the Beauly to Denny powerline upgrade, and it appears to be a justification for not following proper procedures in the planning process. The RSPB suspects this also to be the case with regards to the Pentland Road scheme.
I want to make it clear that I am not opposed to windfarms perse - I just prefer to see them offshore rather than onshore.