News & Updates
TOP PLANNING SOLICITOR REACTS TO NPF4 CHANGES AHEAD OF COP27
Renewables experts from across the country gathered at a popular seminar hosted by Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie to discuss the long-term vision for Scotland’s energy sector.
Over 100 guests attended the event – which centered around the theme ‘Repower, Recharge, Rethink’ – to discuss a variety of topics, including their first thoughts on the newly revised National Planning Framework (NPF4).
The legislation, which sets out sustainable policies and seeks to assess planning applications in Scotland for the next decade, has been tabled in the Scottish Parliament against the backdrop of intergovernmental climate talks at COP27 in Egypt.
Fraser Gillies, Managing Partner and Head of Planning at WJM, commented: “It was hugely encouraging for us to be able to discuss the growth of the renewables industry and the challenges that come with it.
“The NPF4 draft is radically different from the one we saw last year and has many positive changes, highlighting a more supportive approach to renewables developments across the whole of Scotland.
“The need for the planning system to help deliver on the net zero targets, while protecting and enhancing biodiversity is a recurring theme throughout the document.”
As well as providing an overview of changes made to the new NPF4 draft, some of the industry’s leading voices also discussed repowering existing windfarm projects, battery storage technologies, and how renewables professionals are future-proofing their sites.
Notable speakers at the event included Karen Anne Hutton from Renewable Energy System (RES), David Bell from David Bell Planning, Finley Becks-Phelps from Fred Olsen and Bill Ireland from Logan Energy.
Expert panelists also discussed opportunities for designing optimal energy projects using the latest turbine technology and the planning and safety issues surrounding repowering existing projects.
Andy McFarlane, Head of Renewables at WJM who hosted the event at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, said: “Once again we have seen a fantastic turnout at our popular renewables conference which led discussions on the future of Scotland’s energy sector at a hugely important time for the industry.
“Our event came less than 48 hours after the revised NPF4 legislation was published, providing our panel of speakers with insightful discussions on the role that planning must play in delivering the expansion of renewable energy across the country.
“It was extremely encouraging to have such a great turnout of experts and developers have rich discussions on a variety of topics.
“The renewables industry can be very proud of the role it’s playing in driving us towards making Scotland’s energy sector better for all.”
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