Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Delivering renewable energy

Local Development Plan (LDP) policies on delivering renewable energy are listed below:

Proposals for the generation and utilisation of renewable energy in the form of new build development, infrastructure or retrofit projects will be supported in standalone locations and as integral parts of new and existing developments where it can be demonstrated that there will be no unacceptable significant adverse impacts on all of the relevant Renewable Energy Assessment Criteria set out in Schedule 1 of the LDP (PDF 18Mb), that the scale of the proposal and its relationship with the surrounding area are appropriate and that all relevant policies are met. In this regard, applications for renewable energy proposals should be accompanied by detailed supporting information.

Note: This policy applies to all types of renewable energy development proposals other than heat (see Policy RE2), energy from waste (see Policy WM6) and wind energy (see Policies RE 3 and RE 4)

The Local Development Plan will support developments associated with the renewable generation of heat. Where non-renewable generation of heat is proposed, the Council will support these developments only where greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced, form part of a carbon capture development or where the applicant can demonstrate plans for conversion to renewable or low carbon sources of heat in the future. The Council will also be supportive of the provision of energy centres, where appropriate, within new development.

All new heat generating developments should, where possible, be located close to potential heat users and the possibility of developing heat networks, including district heat networks, should be investigated. 

Proposals for new development should ensure that the site can be connected to heat networks, including district heating, which may be developed in the future. This will require developers to safeguard sufficient capacity within the site’s infrastructure to allow pipework to be connected to premises within the site and to the future heat supply/network. Developers should also safeguard sufficient land, where appropriate, for the provision of energy centres to enable subsequent connections to heat networks to be made.

Where heat networks are not viable, micro-generation and heat recovery technologies, within or associated with individual properties, will be encouraged by the Council.

All proposals will require to meet with the Renewable Energy Assessment Criteria set out in Schedule 1 of the LDP (LDP 18Mb). Thermal treatment plants will also require to meet with SEPA’s Thermal Treatment of Waste Guidelines 2014.

Supplementary Guidance on Heat Generation (PDF 3Mb) will be produced to support Policy RE 2.

This Supplementary Guidance will identify where the opportunities exist for co-locating developments with a high heat demand with sources of heat supply. The Supplementary Guidance will include criteria for decision making.

This Supplementary Guidance will include detail on individual heat generating technologies and will set out decision making criteria that apply to those technologies in addition to those in Policy RE 2. 

All wind energy proposals over 50m in height, including extensions and proposals for repowering, will be assessed using the spatial framework for wind development shown on Map 12 of volume 1 of the LDP (PDF 18Mb)  and all relevant Renewable Energy and other LDP policies.

The Council will afford significant protection to Group 2 areas shown on Map 12 of the LDP (PDF 18Mb). Development may be appropriate in some circumstances within these areas in cases where it can be demonstrated that any significant adverse effects on the environmental characteristics of these areas can be substantially overcome by siting, design or other mitigation and where the proposal is acceptable in terms of all applicable renewable energy criteria set out in Schedule 1 of the LDP (PDF 18Mb).

Within those areas shown on the Spatial Framework (Map 12 of the LDP)(PDF 18Mb) as Group 3 - Areas with Potential for Wind Energy Development, proposals for wind energy over 50m in height will be supported where it can be demonstrated that they are acceptable in terms of all applicable Renewable Energy Assessment Criteria set out in Schedule 1. (PDF 18Mb) 

Supplementary Guidance on Planning for Wind Energy (PDF 4.2Mb) will be prepared in order to provide more information on:

  • the spatial framework
  • the considerations that will apply to wind energy developments of more than 50 metres in height

Wind energy proposals for turbines 50 metres and under in height will be supported where it can be demonstrated that they will not create unacceptable significant adverse impacts on the local area and wider landscape. Proposals will be supported where they:

(i)  Do not result in unacceptable landscape or visual impacts

(ii) Do not result in unacceptable impacts on residential properties, in terms of noise, visual dominance or any other nuisance

(iii) Do not result in unacceptable impacts on the built and natural environment

(iv) Do not create unacceptable cumulative impacts when viewed in conjunction with other operational and approved turbines

(v) Are acceptable in terms of aviation interests and all other infrastructure requirements

Supplementary Guidance on Planning for Wind Energy (PDF 4.2Mb) will be prepared in order to provide design guidance on smaller scale wind energy proposals. This will assist developers in the siting and design of their proposal.

Where necessary in terms of the scale and complexity of the proposal, and the consequences of any failure to restore the site, the Council will require an appropriate financial guarantee in respect of wind energy, waste management, landfill and electrical infrastructure proposals, to ensure that all decommissioning, restoration, aftercare and mitigation requirements attached to planning consents can be met in full.

Any planning permission granted for such developments will be appropriately conditioned and/or subject to a Section 75 obligation to ensure that an appropriate financial guarantee is put in place to the satisfaction of the Council. No development will be permitted on site until any legal obligation and planning conditions have been discharged by the Council. 

The financial guarantee mechanism and the amount covered will be reviewed at regular intervals by an independent party.  The developer will be required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Council that the guarantees continue to be of a sufficient level to cover all potential restoration, aftercare, decommissioning and mitigation costs.

Supplementary Guidance on Financial Guarantees (PDF 1.2Mb) supports policy RE5 by providing further detail on:

  • why financial guarantees are required
  • different types of financial guarantees that are available on the market
  • the approach to securing financial guarantees in terms of the process the Council will undertake
  • how financial guarantees will be monitored and reviewed

Contact Information

Planning & Economic Development
Telephone: 01563 576790