Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.


Tens of thousands of Scots have protested to their local council about wind farm applications in the past five years, it has emerged. Since 2008 there have been 34,206 objections made to local authorities across the country.

The figure has been increasing steadily, with more than 14,000 complaints in 2012 alone, thousands more than in previous years. A further 10,000 people had contacted the Scottish Government directly to object to major applications only considered by Holyrood.

That means since 2008 more than 44,000 have formally made their concerns know about the spread of wind farms across Scotland’s countryside. The figures come after anti-wind farm campaigners protested at the SNP’s party conference in Inverness over the spread of turbines across Scotland’s countryside.

Nine councils were unable to specify how many objections they have received, meaning the true figure is likely to be significantly higher.

The figures, obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information, showed Aberdeenshire, East Lothian, Argyll and Bute, Fife and the Borders all received thousands of objections.

Despite the level of objection in communities across Scotland, the SNP has continued its obsession with turbines in a bid to meet its target of producing 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity from renewables.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s energy committee, said, “The tens of thousands of objections right across the country show the sheer level of public alarm at the SNP’s wind farm obsession. And what’s worse, all too often these concerns are completely ignored by an SNP government intent on fulfilling their own ludicrous renewable energy goals, whatever the cost. People aren’t just concerned about wind farms ruining their landscape and quality of life; they don’t want Scotland’s electricity supply dependent on a source that is unreliable and intermittent.

“When a council votes against a wind farm application, usually with the backing of its planning experts and local communities, the Scottish Government should respect that. Instead, we see ministers in Edinburgh overturning those decisions without any regard for local feelings or the knock-on effect any wind farm may have.”

Here is a list of wind farm objections by local authority over the past five years  

  • Aberdeen – 0
  • Aberdeenshire – 9421
  • Argyll and Bute – 3333
  • Clackmannanshire – 400
  • Dumfries and Galloway – 1284
  • East Dunbartonshire – 2
  • East Lothian – 3263
  • East Renfrewshire – 81
  • Falkirk – 508
  • Fife – 4934
  • Glasgow – 25
  • Midlothian – 161
  • Moray – 432
  • North Lanarkshire – 1739
  • Orkney – 508
  • Perth and Kinross – 89
  • Scottish Borders – 4767
  • Shetland – 13
  • South Ayrshire – 1342
  • South Lanarkshire – 571
  • Stirling – 958
  • West Dunbartonshire – 120
  • West Lothian – 255
  • Scotland – 34,206

Note - those councils not included did not respond with figures.

Aberdeenshire Council could not distinguish between letters of support or objection. Over the past five years it received 15,459 representations on wind farms - using a Scottish Government average 5:2 objection: support ratio, it works out as 9421 objections. Given high profile local applications, it is likely the objection to support ration is actually far higher.

Below are the nationwide totals for wind farm objections to councils in the last five years:

  • 2008 – 943
  • 2009 – 2800
  • 2010 – 4134
  • 2011 – 11,992
  • 2012 – 14,337