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Onshore wind energy

Our Approach

Scotland has one of the best wind resources in Western Europe, so the Scottish Government has identified wind energy as being very important to meeting the renewable energy generation required under the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) external site .

As a result, the scale of renewable wind energy development is likely to be substantial and this could bring about major changes to our landscapes and have significant impacts on Scotland's nature.

Some places in Scotland are more likely to be affected by wind energy developments than other places because of the nature of the landscape or the type of plants and animals living there.  To help identify the most sensitive areas and steer developments towards places where the impacts may be less significant, we have produced Strategic Locational Guidance for Onshore Wind farms in respect of the natural Heritage  PDF document . (Please note that we are currently reviewing and updating this guidance.)

The maps associated with the guidance can be downloaded below:

We first published our Strategic Locational Guidance (SLG) for onshore wind farms in 2002. We have revised the guidance several times as our understanding has evolved and as various designations have changed. We are currently revising the guidance again to:

  • Bring it into line with Scottish Planning Policy (the current version, dated 2009, refers to SPP6 and NPPG14, which have been superseded);
  • Update the mapping data;
  • Include 6 new SPAs and the new Cairngorms National Park Boundary;
  • Introduce new layers which identify: sensitive peatlands; carbon rich soils and Geological Conservation Review sites. 

Further guidance

There is a range of guidance available which can help developers and consultants to design and assess wind farm proposals:

Windfarm impacts on birds guidance

Landscape impact guidance

General Advice and Information relating to windfarms


Brendan Turvey  01738 458622

 Kenny Taylor  01786 435387

Last updated on Tuesday 5th August 2014 at 14:07 PM. Click here to comment on this page