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Scottish government bans 19% of wind farms in scenic areas

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The Scottish Government will ban any new onshore wind developments in 19% of Scotland in it’s new National Planning Framework (NPF3) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), which will prevent developments being built in National Parks and National Scenic Areas.

“Significant protection” is also being provided to areas of land identified within Scottish Natural Heritage’s Wild Land Areas Maps 2014.

The NPF3 and SPP will provide 30 per cent of Scotland with “stronger protection against inappropriate development”.

Scottish planning minister Derek 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.”

Onshore oil and gas developments also have tighter controls as a result of the new policies.

Five new measures, including plans for a buffer zone around fracking wells, have also been introduced.

The other requirements are: additional risk assessments to be prepared; making explicit that buffer zone proposals will be assessed by the planning authority and statutory consultees; for operators to consult local communities; and for fresh planning applications to be required if permission for fracking was not sought but developers subsequently decide to undertake this process.

A total of 14 significant national developments were named within NPF3, including carbon capture and storage networks and thermal generation, and the high voltage energy transmission network.

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