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Wind farms banned in national parks  

Credit:  23/06/2014 | www.strathspey-herald.co.uk ~~

Planning minister Derek Mackay has announced a ban on wind farms in national parks.

The news came as part of the National Planning Framework 3 (NPF3) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) revealed by the Scottish Government today.

Mackay says the NPF3 and SPP will shape long term economic development and local planning policy in areas such as transport, town centres, energy and infrastructure, and balance economic growth with protection of the environment.

The plans confirmed the government’s support for 14 large-scale national developments (listed below).

NPF3 and SPP also place a ban on wind farm development in the 19 per cent of Scotland identified as national parks and national scenic areas – including the Cairngorms National Park.

Significant protection is provided to sensitive areas of land identified within Scottish Natural Heritage’s Wild Land Areas Map 2014, also published today.

In total, approximately 30 per cent of Scotland’s landscape will benefit from stronger protection against inappropriate development.

Mr Mackay said: “The Scottish Government remains strongly committed to releasing Scotland’s onshore wind energy potential, however we have always made clear that we want the right developments in the right places.

“We have taken steps to ensure that no wind farm developments can go ahead in our cherished national parks and national scenic areas.

“We have strengthened the protection of wild land, with new maps and inclusion directly in the SPP and NPF3.”

In addition to the new rules protecting Scotland’s most scenic areas, tighter controls on onshore oil and gas developments have been introduced.

Five new measures are also being introduced in relation to hydraulic fracturing, including bringing in a requirement for buffer zones to ensure development only proceeds if communities and the environment can be protected.

The National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy can be viewed here:

NPF: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/National-Planning-Framework

SPP: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/Policy

The 14 national developments contained within the new national planning framework are:

1. Ravenscraig

2. Dundee Waterfront

3. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Network and Thermal Generation

4. High Voltage Energy Transmission Network

5. Pumped Hydroelectric Storage

6. Central Scotland Green Network

7. Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership

8. National Long Distance Cycling and Walking Network

9. High Speed Rail

10. Strategic Airport Enhancements

11. Grangemouth Investment Zone

12. Freight Handling Capacity on the Forth

13. Aberdeen Harbour

14. National Digital Fibre Network

Source:  23/06/2014 | www.strathspey-herald.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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