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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 16:36 GMT
Third largest wind farm approved
Wind turbine
The wind farm will become Scotland's third largest
Permission has been granted for a 68-turbine wind farm in Perthshire.

The site at Griffin will become the third largest in Scotland, and will be capable of providing electricity for 114,000 homes.

Perth and Kinross councillors had previously rejected the proposals, but the Scottish Government was allowed the final say.

Opponents had raised concerns about the impact on scenery and local roads being clogged with construction traffic.

Energy Minister Jim Mather said: "The decision to approve Griffin wind farm is an important milestone in the government's energy strategy for Scotland which will include the whole renewable mix from biomass to the energy we can generate from wave and tide.

There will never have been in history such a huge impact on the landscape of Perthshire as has been announced today
Jill Wilson
ASWAG

"This wind farm will have the capacity to meet electricity demand for more than 100,000 homes, a further demonstration of Scotland's vast renewable energy potential.

"There is no doubt that this country can become the green energy capital of Europe."

Robert Forrest, the chief executive of the wind farm developer GreenPower, said: "This is a milestone for GreenPower and a milestone for Scotland.

"As an independent Scottish business, this consent represents a major step forward for us and will underpin significant growth in our business over the next three years.

"With climate change so high on the national agenda, we are delighted to be able to make a significant contribution to meeting the Scottish Government's renewable energy target."

However Jill Wilson, from the Amulree and Strathbraan Windfarm Action Group (ASWAG), told the BBC Scotland news website she was "devastated" at the news.

"It will cover an area the size of Perth, it'll be visible from every high hill and mountain in Perthshire," she said.

"As far as I'm concerned they [the Scottish Government] may as well put a sign up on the border saying 'Tourists don't bother coming any more' if that's how much they value our landscape.

"The Scottish Government's not listening to local communities and not listening to their local councils.

"I just think it's a sad day for Perthshire. There will never have been in history such a huge impact on the landscape of Perthshire as has been announced today."

Administrative error

The Scottish Government caused anger last week when it issued a press release stating the wind farm had been given the go-ahead, only to withdraw it soon after.

The release should have been solely about a project in Aberdeenshire. The confusion was blamed on an administrative error.

However, an official announcement has now been made.

Mid-Scotland and Fife Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said: "The way that the SNP Government has gone about announcing the outcome of this wind farm application is shambolic.

"The people of Highland Perthshire deserve two apologies from the SNP, firstly an apology for allowing this wind farm to be built and secondly an apology for the confusion and distress caused by announcing approval for Griffin wind farm and then retracting it."

SEE ALSO
SNP MSP's wind farm sites concern
17 Jan 08 |  Tayside and Central
Wind farm approved for Perthshire
15 Aug 07 |  Tayside and Central
'Faster decisions' on green power
07 Dec 07 |  Scotland

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