Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

sd.commission.org.uk

Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

5 Wind power and planning5.2 Planning policyPlanning policy is devolved to nationalgovernments, so England, Scotland, Wales andNorthern Ireland have separate policies. Policy inrelation to renewable energy has recently beenupdated by the Office of the Deputy PrimeMinister (which has responsibility for England), bythe Scottish Executive in Scotland; the WelshAssembly Government in Wales is due to issue itsrevised advice shortly. The underlying aim hasbeen to provide clearer guidelines for theconsideration of renewable energy projects andto improve the consistency of decisions. This is inline with wider energy policy (as outlined in the2003 Energy White Paper) and was seen asessential for renewable energy targets to be met.EnglandPlanning Policy Statement (PPS) 22:Renewable Energy sets out the Government’snational planning policies for renewable energyprojects in England. It covers national polices inrelation to the siting of wind farms generally,and those in close proximity to NationalDesignations – National Parks, Areas ofOutstanding National Beauty (AONB), HeritageCoasts, Green Belts and other local designations.It advises that in areas with nationallyrecognised designations or Green Belt status,planning permission for wind farms should onlybe granted where it can be demonstrated thatthe objectives of the designation will not becompromised and any significant adverse effectsare outweighed by the environmental, socialand economic benefits. PPS 22 is publishedalong with a companion guide, which offerspractical advice for decision-makers on howprojects can be implemented on the ground.ScotlandNational Planning Policy Guideline (NPPG) 6,Renewable Energy Developments sets out theScottish Executive’s national planning policies forrenewable energy projects in Scotland and setsoutlined siting considerations for wind farms atthe national level. It states that issues to beconsidered include visual impact, landscape, birdsand habitat. In relation to national designations, itadvises that renewable energy projects shouldonly be permitted where it can be demonstratedthat the objectives of designation and the overallintegrity of the area will not be compromised orany significant adverse effects on the qualities forwhich the area has been designated are clearlyoutweighed by social and economic benefits ofnational importance.Planning Advice Note (PAN) 45 provides adviceon good practice on Renewable EnergyTechnologies in Scotland. In relation to the sitingand design of wind farms, PAN 45 reinforces thefact that, given the Scottish Executivecommitment to address climate change, it isimportant for society at large to accept windfarms as a feature of many areas of the Scottishlandscape for the foreseeable future. It does,however, emphasise the need to take account ofregional and local landscape designations in thesiting of wind farms. It stresses a cautiousapproach in relation to particular landscapeswhich are rare or valuable, such as NationalScenic Areas (NSAs), National Parks and theirwider settings. In these locations it is difficult toaccommodate wind turbines without detrimentto national heritage interests. PAN 45 suggeststhat areas recovering from past degradation andthose not especially valued may be appropriatefor wind farm development.WalesTechnical Advice Note (TAN) 8 was originallypublished in 1996, and the updated TAN 8 willoutline the Welsh Assembly Government's aimto secure the right mix of energy provisionwhilst minimising the impact on theenvironment and reducing the overall demandfor energy. To meet the Assembly's renewableenergy target of 4,000 GWh per annum by 2010,50 Wind Power in the UK sustainable development commission