MSP calls for wind farm developer code of conduct

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson has asked the Scottish Government to consider implementing a code of conduct for wind farm developers.

The move comes after constituents raised concerns about the activities of one particular developer in trying to garner public support for its proposed wind farm.

Speaking from his constituency office, Mr Fergusson said: “As competition grows for wind farm sites, developers will be keener than ever to attract support from communities and individuals for their proposed developments.

“In doing so, it would seem that one company in particular has angered a large number of my constituents by negotiating secret agreements with individuals to ensure that they don’t object to the development in return for an undisclosed sum of money.

“This activity causes suspicion between neighbours, division within communities and is the polar opposite of the levels of openness and accountability that ought to characterise the local negotiations that precede any wind farm development.

“In my opinion, a code of practice for developers would ensure that all affected communities and individuals would be treated with respect as negotiations move forward and remove the atmosphere of distrust and suspicion that clearly exists in at least one particular local situation.

“I have written to the minister to suggest a code of practice, and will pursue the possibility through normal parliamentary processes.”

Ealier this year, 50 community councils from across the region called for a moratorium on consent for wind farms in the region, claiming a map produced by Scottish Natural Heritage shows southern Scotland has more onshore wind farm developments proposed than any other part of the country.