Date lodged: 27 July 2016
To ask Scottish Government how many wind farm applications, which have been determined as a result of the project being either close to, or inside, an area of wild land under both section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 and the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, have been (a) consented and (b) refused since the wild land map was published in June 2014.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 23 August 2016
Wind farms of more than 50 megawatts are determined by Scottish Ministers through section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, while those of less than 50 megawatts are determined by planning authorities under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended). Planning applications are generally determined by planning authorities in Scotland and the information requested is not held centrally in respect of those sites. In certain circumstances an appeal can be made to Scottish Ministers against the decision by the planning authority. The vast majority of these decisions are made by reporters from Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).
It is my understanding that a total of 21 wind farm determinations have been made under the Electricity Act since Scottish Planning Policy 2014 (SPP) (with reference to wild land maps) was published. Of these 21 determinations, 13 were consented. The DPEA have made decisions on 123 proposed wind farm developments for either single or multiple turbines in this period, 67 of which were allowed. In relation to the requested information regarding whether wild land was a determinative factor, this information is not routinely collated. All of the section 36 wind farm decision letters are available from Scottish Government’s Energy and Consents webpage http://www.energyconsents.scot/. Decisions made by DPEA can be searched for at this address: http://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/Default.aspx