Modification to Planning Guidance for the Location and Design of Wind Turbines in the Lowland Areas of East Lothian (Dec 2010) and Environmental Report

Closed 17 May 2013

Opened 2 Apr 2013

Overview

East Lothian Council is modifying its Planning Guidance for the Location and Design of Wind Turbines in the Lowland Areas of East Lothian ("Lowland Wind Guidance"), approved in December 2010. The modification is to incorporate the recommendations of the East Lothian Supplementary Landscape Capacity Study for Smaller Wind Turbines approved in December 2011.

The Council consulted on a draft version of this Supplementary Landscape Capacity Study in the autumn of 2011 and in December 2011 agreed that its recommendations should be incorporated into the Lowland Wind Guidance as a modification.

The Proposed Modification

The modification to the December 2010 Lowland Wind Guidance is essentially a new section 6.0 and an Appendix Four. New section 6.0 incorporates a landscape and visual sensitivity assessment, supported by maps showing where particular scales of wind turbines might be appropriate in landscape terms. The modification replaces the previous section 6.0 that summarised the findings of the Landscape Capacity Study for Wind Turbine Development in East Lothian (May 2005) and which related more to larger scale turbines associated with upland wind farms. The new Appendix Four incorporates general principles about the siting of smaller wind turbines in the landscape.

The revised Lowland Wind Guidance incorporating these modifications can be viewed/downloaded below.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Public bodies like the Council have to assess, consult and monitor the likely impacts of their plans, programmes and strategies on the environment. This is a process known as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). SEA is a way of making sure that the environmental effects have been properly assessed and, where necessary, policy amended to ensure they have been properly taken into account. More information on the process can be found here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/environmental-assessment

The modification to the Lowland Wind Guidance is being subject to SEA. For the avoidance of doubt, it is only the modifications described above that are being subject to SEA, not the whole Lowland Wind Guidance.

As part of the SEA process, the Council has prepared an Environment Report assessing the environmental effects of the modification to the Lowland Wind Guidance. The Environmental Report can be viewed/downloaded below.

The consultation

The consultation period runs from Tuesday 2nd April to Friday 17th May 2013. All comments on the Environmental Report must be received by East Lothian Council no later than 4.00pm on Friday 17th May 2013.

All comments should be sent to:

Via email to policy&projects@eastlothian.gov.uk (maximum file size 50MB)

Or in writing to:

Policy & Projects, Housing & Environment, East Lothian Council, John Muir House, Haddington, EH41 3HA.

Why We Are Consulting

This Environmental Report is being made available for public consultation. The Council has previously consulted on the recommendations of the SLCS and considered the consultation response before coming to an agreed position.  The proposed modification to the PGLDWT therefore reflects the previous Council decision taken in December 2011. 

However, the SEA process requires consultation on both the Environmental Report and the proposed modification to the PGLDWT. If the response to the Environmental Report raises a relevant environmental issue that has implications for the proposed modification, or if any relevant new issue not previously considered by the Council is raised on the content of the modification, then the Council will consider if any change is required to the proposed modification

What Happens Next

It is hoped that comments will be analysed in time to be be reported to Council and the Lowland Wind Guidance formally adopted.before the summer recess 2013.  However, timescales will depend on the volume and complexity of issues raised.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Community Councils
  • Local Residents
  • Visitors / Tourists / Non Residents

Interests

  • Residents' views and priorities
  • Community Planning
  • Environment & sustainability
  • Planning & development