Development guidance - Onshore wind energy
We have a suite of Supplementary Guidance for Onshore Wind Energy which has been adopted as part of the Development Plan for Highland. The suite currently comprises the following:
- Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance, November 2016 - this includes the Spatial Framework, Guidance on a wide range of issues and the landscape sensitivity appraisal and strategic capacity conclusions for the Loch Ness area.
- Addendum Supplementary Guidance: 'Part 2b', December 2017 - this includes the landscape sensitivity appraisals and strategic capacity conclusions for the Black Isle, Surrounding Hills and Moray Firth Coast area and for the Caithness area.
We have also produced an interactive map of onshore wind development.
We have produced an updated version of the Spatial Framework mapping, to reflect the underlying constraints features as at 2020:
GIS mapping data is also available upon request, subject to entering into an End User License Agreement.
Larger scale maps of the Spatial Framework (2016 adopted SG version):
In preparing the Supplementary Guidance we have undertaken consultations. A range of relevant documents, including background documents, are included in the links below:
- Letter from Scottish Ministers (December 2017)
- Statement of Publicity and Consultation (October 2017)
- Appraisal for Black Isle, Surrounding Hills and Moray Firth Coast and for Caithness - Submission to Scottish Ministers (2017)
- Draft Appraisal for Black Isle, Surrounding Hills and Moray Firth Coast and for Caithness (2016)
- Letter from Scottish Ministers (November 2016)
- Statement of Publicity and Consultation (September 2016)
- Onshore Wind Energy - Submission to Scottish Ministers (2016)
- Draft Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance (2015)
- Onshore Wind Energy consultation Paper (2015)
- Onshore wind energy initial consultation (2014)
- Onshore wind energy: interim supplementary guidance (2012)
- Small scale wind turbine proposals - interim supplementary guidance (2012)
- Draft onshore wind energy: interim supplementary guidance (2011)
- Highland renewable energy strategy and planning guidelines (2006)
Landscape and visual issues
We continue to progress a programme of landscape sensitivity appraisals for a number of areas in Highland. We consult the public on this work and present it to committee for adoption as part of the suite of Supplementary Guidance. Appraisals are in progress or yet to start for the following areas:
- We have recently been involved with NatureScot and consultants in a pilot, updating and extending coverage of studies in the Dava, Nairn and Monadhliath areas up to the Cairngorms National Park boundary; the consultant’s final report of December 2021 is available here – the next steps will be the preparation of accompanying planning guidance which, with the consultant’s report, will be subject of public consultation in 2023
- Sutherland and Ross-shire (including East and Central Sutherland and North Coast areas) – appraisal has been commenced but is on hold and we are aiming to recommence work on it during 2023
- Skye – appraisal has yet to be commenced
Appraisals for the following areas have already been undertaken and are part of the suite of adopted Supplementary Guidance:
- Loch Ness
- Black Isle, Surrounding Hills and Moray Firth Coast
Previously commissioned landscape and visual assessments helped to inform earlier stages of the preparation of our Supplementary Guidance. These are background documents published for information only. They informed the production of but do not form part of the adopted Supplementary Guidance:
- Consultant's report - Cumulative Landscape and Visual Assessment of Wind Energy in Caithness (LUC, July 2014)
- Assessment of Landscape Sensitivity to Wind Turbine Development in Highland - summary report (2010)
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
Our supplementary guidance is subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The documents are included below.
- Post Adoption Statement (2016)
- Finalised Environmental Report (2016)
- Revised Environmental Report (2015)
- Environmental report (2012)
- Scoping report (2011)
Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA)
The guidance was the subject of assessment in respect of European conservation site interests prior to its statutory adoption. Read the Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) Record.
Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA)
An Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) screening was undertaken which has determined that a full EqIA will not be required.