Control of Development

Correspondence with the Scottish Government has already established that there is an inadequate degree of large scale developments once consent has been granted.  Evidence of the inadequacy has already manifested itself in the inability to restore landscape after the development of opencast coal areas in such places as Ayrshire, where seams of coal occur quite near to the surface of the land. In cases of windfarm construction over 50 MW under Section 36 of the Electricity Act, calls from local communities for developers to lodge adequate bonds for a full reinstatement of the landscape have been rejected as unnecessary, particularly in cases of large, established utility companies with a lot of technical experience in the past.   However, what has happened in recent times is that calls by communities for monitoring of developments on occasions when the holder of the original consent has decided to abandon its interest and transfer it to other companies have not been responded to by central government in Edinburgh on the ground that the issue was 'too complex'.

The Scottish Government has failed to enforce the regulations passed by Holyrood in 2013 for variations in S36 Consents in cases where it is clear that suspensive conditions have been breached or ignored by the developer, who was supposed to have applied to ECDU for permission to re-advertise the changed environmental scoping and allow communities impacted by changes to comment on the proposed development but failed to do so and put pressure on the local planning directorate instead.  These changes include re-siting of electricity sub-stations which bring them much closer to dwellings than permitted under the original consent and entail cutting down many hectares of woodland and consequently endanger water courses and adjacent farmland among others.  This at a time when the land is subjected to the alleged effects of climate change without any such major developments.

Why the contribution is important

The monitoring of major developments and the installation of adequate safeguards for communities must be properly attended to to counter the ideological enthusiasm of any government 'strategic policy' because the health, safety and wellbeing of the local population are paramount for any government which claims to look after the interests of the Scottish people.   A government which passes its own laws in support of such a goal but cynically fails to observe these condemns residents of small communities to a minimum of 25 years of oppressive living conditions and in the case of major landscape impositions, destroys the ecology and prevents people from obtaining the benefits of existing land conditions, often forever more.



by tanuki on February 02, 2016 at 04:10PM

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