The Scottish Government are prepared to approve planning permission for a Beauly Denny like powerline across Dumfries & Galloway if it means they can meet their renewable energy aspirations, according to the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
His comments came during a Ministers’ Questions session in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 15th March, following a request from Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray that the Scottish Government give “top priority” to the effects on local landscape, environment and tourism when considering their decision for planning approval of the 400kv SPEN powerline.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“The Beauly Denny line has become a scourge for people living in its shadow in the Highlands, and local people here in Dumfries & Galloway are well aware that we are being threatened with our own version of the gigantic line. In our case, just as was the case when the Beauly Denny line was given planning permission, the Scottish Government are not prepared to listen to local arguments when they consider SPEN’s final plans for approval. The key decision making factor for them will be whether they believe the line will help them to achieve their renewables target for Scotland. So if it wasn’t enough that Dumfries & Galloway is already being covered in an unfair number of wind farms, the Scottish Government are now prepared to thrust giant pylons on our region if it helps them with their targets. Local factors should be the top priority for the Scottish Government when considering these plans, but the fact is that our local landscape, environment and tourism industry seems to be at the bottom of the agenda for them.”