A £95,000 Scottish Government loan to a controversial Bute wind turbine scheme is set to be written off after the project failed to receive planning permission.
The loan, from the government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), was provided to help with the cost of an environmental impact assessment into the Ascog Farm project.
The scheme was turned down by Argyll and Bute Council in May, and an appeal dismissed by the government’s department for planning and environmental appeals (DPEA) earlier this month.
The CARES website states: “We know not all projects will lead to local energy generation and if your project does not progress due to failure to gain planning consent or other major obstacles then the loan can be written off.”
Ascog resident Tony Harrison, a leading opponent of the project, says the plans - for three 74-metre wind turbines - should never have been considered for help because they failed to meet guidelines set down by Scottish Natural Heritage, Argyll and Bute Council and the Scottish Government itself on suitable locations for wind turbines.
“If the necessary checks are not made at application, as would appear in this case, it is reasonable to conclude that there has been a shocking and indiscriminate use of public funding,” Mr Harrison said.
* Full story in the December 20 issue of The Buteman - on sale now.