Measures to control the location of wind farms have been included in the latest planning policies of the Scottish Government.
Ministers have proposed extending the separation distance between wind farms and cities, towns and villages.
They have also said no wind farms should be located in the 19 per cent of Scotland which is covered by national parks and National Scenic Areas.
The policies are set out in the third National Planning Framework (NPF3) and draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), which will influence development plans and guide planning decisions in areas such as transport, energy and infrastructure.
Anti-wind farm campaigners said the proposals are disappointing.
Linda Holt, spokeswoman for Scotland Against Spin, said: “There is very little new here. It’s already the case that wind farms can’t be built in national parks but the issue is that Scotland only has two national parks and without buffer zones, they are still at risk of having 140m turbines towering over their boundaries.
“We already have a 2km setback for turbines from communities but this is only guidance and is routinely ignored by wind developers; a 2.5km setback which is not mandatory is similarly meaningless.
“What’s the point of protecting wild land from wind turbines when there is no protection against criss-crossing it with giant pylons and infrastructure for offshore wind development?”
A consultation on the framework and SPS will carried out to gather a wide range of views.
The proposals also identify new large-scale national developments including two carbon capture and storage schemes in Peterhead and Grangemouth and enhancements at airports such as Prestwick, while the SPP includes references to maps of Scotland’s wild land for the first time, drawn up by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Planning Minister Derek Mackay said: “Scotland needs a planning system that has at its heart the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country’s attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy.
“We want future planning decisions to give significant weight to the economic benefit of proposed developments, particularly the creation of new jobs.
Jenny Hogan, director of policy for Scottish Renewables, said it is important that the consultation on the proposals “brings greater clarity to all those concerned with making decisions about Scotland’s landscapes and energy needs”.
Iain McMillan, director of the Confederation of British Industry in Scotland, said: “I welcome the Scottish Government’s emphasis on jobs and the economy as announced today alongside publication of the NPF3. A good and responsive planning system is so important to the success of Scotland’s economy and we look forward to working with Scottish ministers during the consultation period.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding