Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Energy Committee: Renewables 1

Chris Norman chair of Heads of Planning Scotland told the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee "what we are seeing is the increasing volume of hostility" to wind farm proposals from the public.

Mr Norman was giving evidence as part of the committee's inquiry into the Scottish government's renewable energy targets on 21 March 2012.

The government has published its plans for renewable energy to provide 100% of Scotland's electricity needs by 2020.

The chair of Heads of Planning Scotland stressed planners followed statutory procedures and did not act as a greater communicator for or against a development.

Mr Norman also highlighted the complexity in dealing with such proposals for renewable energy developments and pointed out councils had identified areas where on-shore wind development is preferred, which could yield substantially towards achieving the government's targets.

However he added it was "galling that people will disregard that when they make their applications" and he called for a reinforcing of the fact that preferred areas were the way forward for Scottish planning strategy.

Simon Coote the head of energy consents and deployment with the Scottish government said that larger planning applications that reached the government were not treated as a "numbers game" where the amount of campaigners for or against a development dictated the outcome, but it was also about the rationale behind the arguments.

Lindsey Nicoll from the Scottish government also gave evidence.

The committee also heard evidence from Keith Winter of Fife Council; Cllr Roger Grant from Dumfries and Galloway Council and Cllr Carolyn Riddell-Carre from Scottish Borders Council, which can be viewed below :

Energy Committee: Renewables targets 2

Finally Jim MacKay from SEPA; Andrew Thin from Scottish Natural Heritage and David Palmer from Marine Scotland also gave evidence which can be viewed below:

Energy Committee: Renewables targets 3

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee membership

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