Relentless push risks special sites
“Planning officials face similar criticism for appearing to cave in under relentless onslaught”
It is a familiar battle cry from objectors to planning applications across the north and north-east – that developers are “riding roughshod” over a multitude of cultural and community concerns. Developers are not the only target. Even planning officials face similar criticism for appearing to cave in under relentless onslaught from commercial interests. The Scottish Government, of course, has been on the receiving end of some of the harshest attacks for appearing to bend the rules to breaking point to pave the way for wind turbines, and their questionable success rate in terms of output. Now the boss of the National Trust for Scotland has joined the fray by using the same phraseology, and warns of impending “disaster” facing many of Scotland’s sensitive heritage sites and those of special scientific interest. Chief executive Simon Skinner warns that we do not have to look much farther than Culloden battlefield to see what can happen when developers spot a chink in the armour. The historic site has been earmarked for a flurry of plans. He makes a challenging observation: that the constant claims that many of these controversial proposals will bring economic prosperity obscure cultural and economic damage to historic sites which often follows. Once the damage has been done, it is hard to go back.