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Council Invites Views On Guidance For Small Wind Turbines

21st August 2012

The Highland Council has prepared planning guidance for Small-Scale Wind Turbine Proposals and is asking for people's views on it.

From tomorrow (23rd August) the draft guidance is available to view on the website www.highland.gov.uk and in local Highland Council Libraries, Service Points and at Council Headquarters in Inverness. The consultation runs until 4th October 2012.

The Council is supportive of appropriate renewable energy developments, including micro and small-scale schemes. The Highland Renewable Energy Strategy sets out this broad support and recognises the potential for different types and scales of scheme to contribute to meeting energy needs.

There has been growing interest in recent years from people wishing to submit small-scale wind turbines proposals in Highland - defined by the guidance as being proposals for no more than 3 turbines in any one array and where the hub height of the turbine(s) is below 30m. People and businesses desire 'green energy', to meet their own energy needs and/or to supplement their income by selling electricity back to the national grid.

The guidance explains about different types of application that may be required and sets out minimum requirements for information to be submitted to the Council with applications. This includes advice on visual assessment and the consideration of noise issues. It also refers to key issues such as impacts on amenity, on other developments planned in the area and on landscape, including cumulative impacts.

Councillor Thomas Prag, Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, said: "The council supports the principle of renewables - including wind energy. Small scale turbines are part of that, but they can cause quite a bit of controversy locally, so we need a consistent approach to judge each application on its merits. This draft guidance aims to set out the framework on which each decision will be based. So it's really important that we get feedback on it from the public, organisations and the renewables industry."

Comments on the guidance should be sent to the Council in writing, either by email to devplans[AT]highland.gov.uk or by post to Development Plans Team, The Highland Council, Council Offices, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX, to arrive no later than 4th October 2012.

Anyone wishing further information or a paper copy of the document should telephone 01463 702259 or email devplans[AT]highland.gov.uk

 

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