Ensuring National Parks contribute to delivering Net Zero

The Scottish Government should avoid introducing National Parks in areas that would give rise to conflicts between planning policy and renewable energy developments.

Why the contribution is important

It is essential that the Scottish Government balances its ambitions to increase the number of National Parks in Scotland with the need to deploy more renewable energy to meet our legally binding target of reaching net-zero by 2045 and the binding interim targets for 2030 and 2040. Planning policy dictates that windfarms will not be built in either National Parks or National Scenic Areas. The Scottish Government should therefore avoid introducing National Parks in areas that would give rise to conflicts between planning policy and renewable energy developments.

by SPR on May 27, 2022 at 11:23AM

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Based on: 5 votes

Comments

  • Posted by NicBullivant May 31, 2022 at 10:46

    This sounds like a plea for more wind turbines, of the kind that were opposed in the Monadhliath on environmental and landscape grounds. Net zero is important but Scotland has a very large number land-based wind turbines, and will increasingly be looking towards marine resources (wind and tides) for future development, so I wouldn't be concerned if an area considered good for wind turbines was ruled out by NP designation.
  • Posted by scottishwildlandgroup June 04, 2022 at 14:57

    Windfarms are not the only way to generate carbon free electricity and alternatives must be adequately funded. National Park status should be considered solely on its merits with no other consideration having an influence.
  • Posted by glasach June 05, 2022 at 17:23

    I don't see any problem with having wind farms (and hydro schemes. solar panels or anything else) in a NP. The only real objections to them come from incomers who are afraid their view will be spoilt. We need to stop pandering to the incomers who want to keep the Highlands as an unspoilt wilderness playground and would deny the people who actually belong here the right to develop their economy in a sustainable way.
  • Posted by AndrewPym June 05, 2022 at 21:44

    As stated elsewhere, National Parks should each play their part in contributing to the demand for carbon free electricity in a way appropriate to them. Some renewable schemes may fit whilst others cause harm to other, more important interests. But Net Zero involves much more. It is about catching carbon from the atmosphere and preventing the release of existing carbon stocks. Galloway is a good place to illustrate the challenges: (1) a significant area of deep peat soils are in Galloway; they hold a very large reserve of carbon but are in a depleted state, and need to be preserved. (2) many areas of deep peat have been afforested and they need to be returned to managed bog soils when the current forest crops are removed. (3) It is expected that the capacity for Sitka Spruce to grow in Galloway is limited. At a Royal Scottish Forestry Society meeting it was said by several expert foresters that the area maybe able to deliver two more harvests (@38 years for each crop). The land which has been changed and degraded by forestry (for good reasons of economy and security) will need to be approached differently with new woodland management regimes: the best approach to secure and retain carbon is continuous cover forestry. A National Park Authority team is well placed to co-ordinate such initiatives, considering all elements of biodiversity, landscape and economy in arriving at an appropriate plan. Galloway is in serious need of such an approach in looking forward and all these challenges of the next 80 and more years need to be addressed now.
  • Posted by camusfearna June 05, 2022 at 22:34

    I very much agree with the original comment - 'The Scottish Government should avoid introducing National Parks in areas that would give rise to conflicts between planning policy and renewable energy developments' - and believe that this is important to be consistent with established Scottish Planning Policy (windfarms prohibited in national parks and National Scenic Areas) and with achieving Scotland's statutory climate change targets. This should be an important criteria when any area is considered for national park designation.
  • Posted by croftercowrie June 05, 2022 at 23:26

    I'm in agreement with glasach and AndrewPym.
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