The Scottish government has called to question the planning permission application of Inch Cape Offshore Limited (ICOL)’s for an onshore wind farm development.
Politicians from across the board have questioned the decision that will see ministers assess the application, rather than the East Lothian Council, due to the timing of the decision, which comes ahead of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s official visit to China.
ICOL is owned by Red Rock Power, based in Edinburgh, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC).
However, a spokeswoman for the Scottish government said: “There is absolutely no connection between the decision to call in the Inch Cape planning application and the First Minister’s visit to China and any suggestion otherwise is wrong.
“The development is in an area covered by the National Planning Framework and raised issues that require to be considered by Ministers.
“The decision was taken by the Planning Minister Kevin Stewart on the 4th April and actioned by planning officials on 9th April.
“The First Minister is not meeting with Red Rock Power whilst in China. As set out in the First Minister’s China blog, the FM met with the State Development Investment Corporation (SDIC) during her visit to China and the issue was not discussed.”
ICOL project manager, Ian Johnson, said: “This is not uncommon for a project with such national economic and environmental importance.
“We hope to continue to engage with the local community and East Lothian Council, to listen to any feedback and concerns they may have, as they contribute to the decision-making process in coming months.”