This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ONSHORE PLANNING


GRAHAMWALLIS-WHITE, FROM MCGRIGORS, GIVES US SOME INTERESTING INDUSTRY STATISTICS


In November 2010, RenewableUK published their annual State of the Industry Report. The reasons for the reported drop in planning approval rates across the UK, and in England particularly, are complex and worthy of consideration.


Some statistics in respect of the 12 months from October 2009 to September 2010:


• Across the UK, local level approval rates have fallen from 83% to 55% by scheme;


• In England, local approval rate sits at 41% by scheme, down 21% on the previous year;


• Scottish local approval rates were 95% by scheme in the previous year, but have now fallen to 63%; and


• Appeal success rates have risen in Scotland from 33% to 58%, whilst the English appeal success rate has fallen from 67% by MW last year to 59%.


Our own research into appeal success rates over a slightly earlier period past decisions are not a reliable indicator of a future outcomes nevertheless the statistics are concerning to those within the industry, and should be similarly concerning to the UK and Scottish Governments who each have challenging renewables targets.


So what might be the reasons for such a drop in approvals?


The first possibility is our own area of expertise - planning law. Across the UK major planning law reforms have recently taken place. In Scotland different elements of the reforms have been brought into force at different times over the last 4 years and some remain to be implemented, whilst south of the border the key reform introduced by Labour (the introduction of the Infrastructure Planning Commission) is in the process of being reversed by the Coalition. This uncertainty could impact on the number of projects being successfully pursued and could similarly impact on those proposals which enter each new but evolving system.


Closely tied to this legal uncertainty is the political uncertainty which has particularly affected developers in England in recent months. Whether it be the tug-of-war over Regional Spatial Strategies, or the threat of nimbyism supplanting the Coalition's drive for location, the political backdrop to the past 12 months has not been conducive to long term, major investment. And with Scottish Elections in 2011 future decision-making doesn't look any more predictable.


Of course each case will turn on its individual facts and not every project is a good one. As the industry learns from experience and technology improves, sites which may not have been considered suitable or viable in the past will be brought forward and the challenge is to communicate effectively the merits of any scheme and demonstrate how any adverse impacts will be mitigated. However, this challenge has increased as objectors become more sophisticated in their approach.


It is clear that while there is support for the wind industry at central and devolved government level and a clear desire for wind energy to form a core part of the UK's power supply in future, the challenges facing the industry continue to be substantial. We hope 2011 sees an improvement in the consenting statistics and we will continue to help our clients buck last year's trends.


The McGrigors Renewable Energy Team www.mcgrigors.com


42


Wind Energy NETWORK


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92