Scottish govt ‘to reject windfarm’

The Scottish government is expected to reject plans for what would have been Europe’s largest onshore windfarm.

Ministers will not formally rule on the 181-turbine farm on the Isle of Lewis until next month, but the BBC said today they were “minded to refuse” the scheme.

According to BBC Scotland, the SNP government has been swayed by environmental concerns.

Wildlife campaigners had warned of the impact of the windfarm on the local environment and the Scottish government reportedly received more than 5,000 letters objecting to the scheme.

But supporters claimed the £500 million project would create 400 jobs.

The Scottish government said today that the future of the Lewis windfarm was still being considered by ministers.

As spokesman said: “No final decision has been taken and ministers are working towards finalising and announcing a decision in the near future.”

The project was backed by the Western Isles council last February after councillors voted 18 to eight in favour, but final approval for planning lies with the Scottish government.

The likely rejection will strain the relationship but the SNP and Scottish Green party, who signed a working deal back in May.

With the SNP holding 47 of the Scottish parliament’s 129 seats, the Green MSPs agreed to cooperate but not form a formal coalition.

At the end of last year the Scottish Green party said the SNP were failing on climate change.

They said first minister Alex Salmond was all rhetoric but no action and no policy has been implemented to help the SNP meets its commitment to cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent.