Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

SNP ministers accused of ‘outrageous’ power grab over decision on China-backed wind farm in Angus

An offshore wind farm near Denmark
An offshore wind farm near Denmark

Ministers are facing questions over their intervention in a planning application for a China-backed wind farm.

The SNP administration has been accused of subverting local democracy by using a rarely-used power to “call-in” plans relating to the proposed 72-turbine Inch Cape wind farm, off the Angus coast.

The application takeover by the Scottish Government was confirmed on Monday, the day Nicola Sturgeon started a week-long trade to China.

Opposition politicians said it is “outrageous” that the government has grabbed the decision from councillors before they had a chance to consider it.

The Inch Cape site is owned by Red Rock Power, a subsidiary of China’s biggest state-owned investment fund, the State Development and Investment Corporation.

A new planning application includes plans to build a substation and cable infrastructure at the former Cockenzie power plant in East Lothian.

Alexander Stewart, for the Scottish Conservatives, said the call-in is an “outrageous move from the Scottish Government and completely tramples over local democracy”.

He added: “The fact that this decision was taken while Nicola Sturgeon was in China will undoubtedly raise eyebrows, and they need to explain why this announcement was made now.”

Iain Gray, the Labour MSP, said: “Whether this sequence of events was intentional or coincidental, the SNP government should not be overstepping the boundaries of local democracy and centralising decisions ahead of democratically elected local councillors.”

Liam McArthur, the Lib Dem MSP, said: “Cutting local representatives out of the loop, before they have even come to a decision, risks giving the impression that Scottish ministers are more interested in touting for Chinese business than respecting local decision making.”

A Scottish Government spokesman: “The Cockenzie Power Station site is included in the National Planning Framework 3 and this application may raise matters of national importance.

“Calling it in will allow further consideration of the case by ministers before they issue a decision on whether or not planning consent should be granted.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier