50 community councils from across Dumfries and Galloway write to the First Minister demanding a moratorium on any further planning consent to wind farms.
Tuesday 25th March 2014
Dumfries and Galloway is not the first area in Scotland to request a moratorium on further windfarm development. Many areas fight for local democracy and an end to this dogmatic approach by this Scottish government.
The community councils are requesting that they, and the communities they represent, are provided with sufficient time and resources to make a thorough and impartial assessment of the pros and cons of the large number of wind farms proposed. Their letter has gone to both the First Minister and Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The letter to the First Minister reflects the widespread local concern about the number and scale of wind farm proposals across the region. The letter follows recent independent reports; first, by the London School or Economics on the negative impact of wind farms on property prices, and secondly by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland  highlighting the impact of wind farms on tourism in Scotland.
Willie Dickson, Chair of Corsock and Kirkpatrick-Durham Community Council stated that ‘our community council felt overwhelmed by the number of wind farm proposals being planned for our area. When we consulted other community councils across Dumfries and Galloway, it became clear that many others felt the same. We need impartial, accurate information on the pros and cons of the proposed wind farm developments. And we need sufficient time and resources to consult the communities we serve and represent. The land use changes being proposed for the region are likely to have profound impacts for the next 25 years. These need to be properly and democratically considered’.
The letter signed by the 50 community councils (c 80% of those who responded) asks both the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council for a moratorium on wind farm applications until the cumulative effects can be properly assessed. Faced with a similar situation in mid Wales, Powys County Council agreed to such a moratorium. The community councils feel this is the only reasonable and democratic way forward. ENDS
Notes to Editors
1 Most communities across Dumfries and Galloway are rural and widely dispersed, therefore community councils, who are made up of volunteers, are currently struggling to reach all members of their communities to ensure that they represent the views and needs of their communities, particularly in relation to wind farm planning.
2 In total 50 community councils from across Dumfries and Galloway have called on the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council Planning Department to address this issue to ensure that local communities are democratically represented and able to make informed choices about their future. The community councils involved are listed at the end.
3 c 80% of the 64 community councils who responded from across Dumfries and Galloway are supportive of this initiative.
4 Many of the wind farm proposals have required formal Environmental Impact Assessments. These are complex planning documents and take time and resources to consider. Moreover, they are produced by the wind farm developers who have considerable resources at their disposal.
5 Many parts of Dumfries and Galloway have an unprecedented number of wind farm proposals in the pipeline. For example, within a 20 mile radius of Corsock, at head of the Urr valley, more than 1,000 wind turbines are proposed, approved, or in place.
6 An example of local concern was the response to the proposal for 11 x 126.5 metre turbines at Mochrum Fell near Corsock. In one of the most sparsely populated areas in Scotland, the strength and depth of local opposition was illustrated with more than 550 objections from local people.
7 Scottish Natural Heritage’s wind farm map can be found at:
8 The details of the letter, signed by the 50 community councils, are as follows.
The community councils supporting this initiative have requested a moratorium on any further planning consents for wind farm developments until the Scottish Government has:
- Assessed the cumulative effects of the number of wind farms operational, consented, in planning and in scoping across Dumfries and Galloway.
- The Scottish Government provides adequate opportunity for meaningful consultation, funding and access to specialist expertise in order to allow community councils to:
a) provide comprehensive, impartial information on the pros and cons of wind energy
b) undertake cost-benefit analysis of wind energy in relation to local community interests; to encompass the social, environmental, health, and economic impacts in the context of a strategic plan;
c) develop a thorough and professional needs analysis of communities likely to be impacted/hosting proposed wind- farm developments;
d) develop community action plans setting out how any compensation payments are to be responsibly spent;
e) help with the costs of community liaison officers to represent each of the communities listed below.
3. A minimum mandatory compensation figure to be set for all wind farm developers to pay Community Benefits to “host” communities and clear guidelines are provided on eligibility.
4. Increased staffing is provided to allow Dumfries and Galloway Council Planning Department to manage and process the large number of wind farm development applications that they are being expected to handle within a short time frame.
5.Increased funding and consultation time is provided to enable other statutory consultees to assess the large number of wind farm applications properly.
And that Dumfries and Galloway Council Planning imposes a moratorium on any further planning consents for wind farms in the region until:
1. A full strategic study of cumulative effects of wind farms operational, consented, in planning and in scoping is undertaken.
2. A comprehensive up to date map of all operational, consented and proposed (including those at scoping) wind farms across the region is made available by D & G Council on the D & G website and is made available at public libraries and in other public spaces across the region.
3.Dumfries and Galloway Council provide a longer consultation period to all consultees and stakeholders consulted on wind farm applications.
The community councils that signed the letter are as follows:
- Auchencairn Community Council
- Borgue Community Council
- Buittle Community Council
- Caerlaverock Community Council
- Canonbie & District Community Council
- Carsphairn Community Council
- Castle Douglas Community Council
- Closeburn Community Council
- Corsock & Kirkpatrick-Durham Community Council
- Crossmichael & District Community Council
- Cummertrees & Cummertrees West Community Council
- Dalbeattie Community Council
- Dalry Community Council
- Dunscore Community Council
- Eastriggs, Dornock & Creca Community Council
- Garlieston Community Council
- Glencairn Community Council
- Heathhall Community Council
- Irongray Community Council
- Isle of Whithorn Community Council
- Keir Community Council
- Kelton Community Council
- Kirkbean Community Council
- Kirkcowan Community Council
- Kirkmaiden Community Council
- Kirkmichael Community Council
- Kirkpatrick Fleming & District Community Council
- Kirtle & Eaglesfield Community Council
- Langholm, Ewes & Westerkirk Community Council
- Lockerbie & District Community Council
- Middlebie & Waterbeck Community Council
- Moffat & District Community Council
- New Abbey Community Council
- New Luce Community Council
- Parton Community Council
- Portpatrick Community Council
- Royal Burgh of Lochmaben Community Council
- Royal Burgh of Whithorm & District Community Council
- Royal Burgh of Wigtown & District Community Council
- Ruthwell & Clarencefield Community Council
- Southerness Community Council
- Springfield & Gretna Green Community Council
- Templand & District Community Council
- Royal Burgh of Kirkcudbright and District Community Council
- Thornhill Community Counil
- Tinwald Community Council
- Torthorwald Community Council
- Twynholm Community Council
- Tynron Community Council
- Wamphray Community Council
Further information can be obtained from Caroline Pridham: spokesperson for, and member of, Corsock and Kirkpatrick-Durham Community Council. Caroline.firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 01644 440662