Increasing the installed capacity of onshore wind in Scotland is an important goal, but the Scottish Government does not support development at any cost. Proposed developments are subject to strict planning laws. In our efforts to support onshore wind in Scotland we have taken action to protect both residents and the environment.
Our policy seeks to strike a careful balance between utilising Scotland’s significant renewable energy resources whilst protecting our finest scenic landscapes, natural heritage and protecting residential amenity.
Our approach includes Scottish Planning Policy which makes clear that wind farms are not appropriate in National Parks or National Scenic Areas, which cover a fifth of Scotland. It also strengthens protection for wild land areas outwith National Parks and National Scenic Areas which cover a further tenth of the country. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has been working on guidance to give clarity to the assessment of wild land areas, and this is due to be published shortly. All applications are subject to scrutiny by statutory consultees such as SNH, SEPA, Historic Environment Scotland and the relevant local authority.