THERE may well be some communities around Scotland where wind turbines have been enthusiastically embraced (Leader Comment, The Herald, May 1), but for others the financial benefits have not been worth the divisions that have been caused between neighbours, friends and relatives.
Last week saw the publication of Natural Scotland's Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits for Onshore Renewable Energy Developments, which is intended to help safeguard communities against experiences such as those suffered by residents of the small village of Uplawmoor in East Renfrewshire, where a neighbouring community's wind farm was ceremoniously dumped in their backyard without any consultation by the developer or notification to their community council from the planning authority.
Against the guidance of Scottish Natural Heritage, the council waived the necessity for an environmental impact assessment, allowing approval of this wind farm without proper scrutiny. Why? Possibly because the proceeds from the wind farm would help pay for the regeneration of Neilston, letting East Renfrewshire Council off the proverbial financial hook.
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Unbeknown to residents of Uplawmoor at the time of the application, they had also been precluded from receiving any benefit by way of a legal agreement drafted by the developers.
Residents now have 25 years of greater than anticipated noise, visual blight and depreciation in property prices in order to benefit another community.
It's ironic that the developers of Neilston Community Wind Farm have had awards bestowed upon them for community engagement when their only real claim to fame is their success in dividing them.