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RSPB Scotland broadly welcomes Scottish Government proposals for National Planning Framework

Last modified: 30 April 2013

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RSPB Scotland has today broadly welcomed Scottish Government proposals for how they believe Scotland should be developed over the next 20-25 years. 

Two key documents for consultation have been published. The first the National Planning Framework “Main Issues Report” sets out a range of options for how different parts of Scotland could be developed.  The second, a draft Scottish Planning Policy, includes planning policies on specific topics such as environmental protection, housing and renewable energy.

The conservation charity is pleased to see a number of specific measures put forward, in particular, Scottish Ministers have confirmed that a coal fired powerstation at Hunterston in Ayrshire would not be included.  A specific proposal at Hunterston was dropped last year after a campaign by RSPB Scotland and others. 

Proposals to retain a central Scotland “Green Network” are also welcome – this could significantly benefit people and wildlife across central Scotland and the RSPB are already working with a range of partners to deliver significant benefits on a landscape scale.

However, it is very disappointing that Scottish Government have not taken up the suggestion made by RSPB and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, that the central Scotland green network approach be broadened out to the rest of Scotland through a national ecological network. This is a missed opportunity to inspire a legacy from the year of natural Scotland. 

Proposals to strengthen strategic frameworks for the development of onshore wind are also welcomed – this is something RSPB Scotland have been calling for, for a number of years.

Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said:  “RSPB Scotland wants a strong and clear planning system that protects and nurtures Scotland’s important natural heritage. Poor quality development can be a huge threat to wildlife so we particularly welcome the continued protection given to our most important wildlife sites.

“Onshore wind can pose particular problems for wildlife if poorly sited so we welcome the Government’s proposals to provide a better strategic steer to developers – directing developments away from the most sensitive sites.”

The Scottish Government are encouraging organisations and members of the public to respond with comments before Tuesday 23 July 2013.

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