Wild land formalised in Scottish Planning Policy

The final version of the Scottish National Planning Framework 3 was published today (23rd June 2014). WRi is very pleased to see that protection for wild land and recognition of the revised wild land map produced by SNH using approaches and methodes developed by WRi has made it into the document (see Carver et al., 2012). Section 4.4 of the NPF3 states: “Scotland’s landscapes are spectacular, contributing to our quality of life, our national identity and the visitor economy. Landscape quality is found across Scotland and all landscapes support place-making. National Scenic Areas and National Parks attract many visitors and reinforce our international image. We also want to continue our strong protection for our wildest landscapes – wild land is a nationally important asset.” In regard to encroachment on wild land by renewable energy developments, and onshore wind in particular, Section 3.3 states: “Onshore wind will continue to make a significant contribution to diversification of energy supplies. We do not wish to see wind farm development in our National Parks and National Scenic Areas. Scottish Planning Policy sets out the required approach to spatial frameworks which will guide new wind energy development to appropriate locations, taking into account important features including wild land.” A new wild land map was launched the same day by SNH to accompany the NPF3 document. This can be seen on the SNH wildness mapping web pages. This should make it easier to protect wild landscapes in Scotland from inappropriate development such as large scale onshore wind farms.