Locating ‘power’ in wind power planning processes: the (not so) influential role of local objectors

Mhairi Quiroz-Aitken, McDonald Seonaidh, Peter Strachan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There have been conflicting accounts of the role and influence of local opposition within planning application outcomes for wind power developments. There is an expanding literature that considers public responses to proposed renewable energy developments and much of this suggests that public opposition is a key factor in the slow growth in renewable energy capacity. However, this paper will show that local opposition groups' power over such planning processes is very limited, and in fact extends only so far as delaying an outcome. Through a thematic content analysis of objection letters to one particular proposed wind power development, the key issues raised in connection with the development will be highlighted. Subsequently, these issues will be compared with those discussed in the official report of the planning appeals process, and it will be shown that the concerns of local objectors had little influence over the eventual verdict.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2008


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