OFFICIAL RESEARCH is needed on the impact of wind farms on tourism, according to Conservative MSP Finlay Carson.

Saying that locals in his Dumfries and Galloway constituency were concerned about the 'never ending list' of applications for windfarm developments, Mr Carson said that businesses which relied on tourists were afraid the proliferation of turbines would put people off visiting.

Read more: Turbines are getting bigger

“I find it totally unacceptable that government ministers have not considered their potential impact on tourism," said Mr Carson. “It is clear that the SNP government – now backed by the Greens – are hellbent on flooding our countryside with giant turbines without giving these developments a second thought."

The Tory MSP had written to ScotGov asking what research it had commissioned on the effect of windfarm development on tourism, and the minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise, Ivan McKee, had confirmed there had been no recent research undertaken.

Mr McKee said that the economic strategy was to enable 'sustainable and inclusive' growth, and VisitScotland research had indicated that visitors were seeking to be more responsible, both in terms of their personal and environmental impact.

Read more: Winds of Change

Mr McKee continued: “The use of sustainable energy by local businesses may therefore appeal to this type of traveller and promote Scotland as an environmentally friendly and climate conscious country to visit.”

Mr Carson disagreed: “How can they make these wild assumptions when they have not carried out any proper research? Do they honestly believe that tourists and visitors want to see these horrific blots on the landscape?"