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ScottishPower division defends contract clause over wind farms

Rachel Millard
·1-min read
Wind turbines
Wind turbines

ScottishPower Renewables has come under fire over contracts presented to landowners containing clauses that would prevent them speaking out about wind farm developments.

The division of Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power wants to build two new wind farms off the Suffolk coast, and will also need to build cabling and substations onshore.

The current cabling route has provoked local opposition, and campaigners claim it will mar the coast and countryside.

Campaign group Suffolk Energy Action Solutions said a clause presented by SPR in contracts while negotiating with landowners stipulating they should not make any representations about planning applications for the two developments and withdraw previous representations, undermines the integrity of the planning process.

It has written to the planning inspectorate to complain. Thérèse Coffey, the local MP, has also raised concerns about the clauses with Kwasi Kwarteng, the business minister.

SPR said the clause was drafted in line with Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors guidance, adding that “all landowners are represented by solicitors and land agents and have the opportunity to negotiate the terms of the agreement”. It said no such agreements had actually been entered into.

A spokesman for SPR said: “As a responsible developer with a proven track record of positive community engagement throughout the UK, we refute in the strongest possible terms that we are trying to undermine the planning process.”