wind farm

The Scottish Government has launched new planning policies, National Planning Framework 3 (NPF3) and Scottish Planning Policy (SPP).

The government hopes these policies will shape long-term economic development and local planning policy, and balance economic growth with environment protection.

NPF3 determines the government’s efforts to support for 14 large-scale national developments whereas NPF3 and SPP will put wind farm development ban on the 19% of Scotland identified as National Parks and National Scenic Areas.

The government also introduced tighter controls on onshore oil and gas developments.

Commenting on NPF3, UK Planning Minister Derek Mackay said that the NPF3 is a watershed for planning in Scotland which will deliver improvements that will benefit the nation for decades to come.

"Our ambition is to create great places that support economic growth across the country, and together, NPF3 and the SPP set out a shared vision for Scotland as a place that benefits from a positive planning system that protects our unique environment," Mackay said.

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"This new policy also gives serious consideration to concerns over unconventional oil and gas."

"NPF3 confirms our support for 14 national developments that will drive economic growth, champion our most successful places, and support changes in areas where, in the past, there has been a legacy of decline."

The Scottish Government’s new policies will ensure no wind farm developments in national parks and national scenic areas, Mackay said.

"This new policy also gives serious consideration to concerns over unconventional oil and gas with five main changes to strengthen planning policy," Mackay added.

These include new rules on hydraulic fracturing, which will compel operators to consult with the public.

To protect communities, buffer zones will also be establishedm, which will be verified by planning authorities and statutory consultees.

Image: Scottish Government’s new policies ban wind farms development in Scotland’s national parks. Photo: courtesy of 2nix/