Applicants escape costs on failed turbine plan

The Scottish government has rejected a reporter's recommendation to require applicants to cover the costs incurred by airport operators and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in opposing plans for a 100-metre-high wind turbine in Lanarkshire.

The council had approved the development against officers' advice on the understanding that a condition could be devised to address the turbine's impact on Glasgow Airport's main radar system. After the scheme was called in, the council withdrew from the process but BAA and Glasgow Airport Ltd, together with the CAA, maintained their objections.

Given safety concerns, the reporter decided that a one per cent decrease in the system's overall effectiveness due to the turbine blanking out approaching aircraft from the radar screens was not acceptable.

On the costs issue, he found that the applicants had approached the inquiry on the basis of general optimism that a technical solution could be found and the assumption that the council would provide technical evidence in their support. He felt that it should have been obvious that the application had no prospect of success, given the overwhelming technical evidence provided by BAA and the CAA.

The Scottish government agreed that the plan should be refused, but declined to award costs. The applicants had not sought to have the application determined via a public inquiry, it noted. In its view, they had not acted so unreasonably as to cause the claimants unnecessary expense.

Reporter: Bill Patterson; Inquiry

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