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Scottish gov't gives priority to environment protection in planning revamp

EDINBURGH, June 24 — The Scottish government has said that it will give environment protection the priority in its efforts to revamp its economy, showed latest version of the National Planning Framework on Monday.

A ban will be placed on windfarm development in the 19 percent of Scotland identified as National Parks and National Scenic Areas. Significant protection is provided to sensitive areas of land identified within Scottish Natural Heritage's Wild Land Areas Map 2014.

In total, approximately 30 percent of Scotland's landscape will benefit from stronger protection against inappropriate development.

In addition to the new rules protecting Scotland's most scenic areas, tighter controls on onshore oil and gas developments have been introduced.

Launched in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, the Framework and Scottish Planning Policy confirmed the Scottish government's support for 14 large-scale national developments, including major regeneration schemes, carbon capture and storage schemes, and support for improvements at airports.

Five new measures are also being introduced in relation to hydraulic fracturing, including bringing in a requirement for buffer zones to ensure development proceeds only if communities and the environment can be protected. Operators will also have to consult with communities on their proposals.

Scottish Planning Minister Derek Mackay said that the revised planning policy will deliver improvements that will benefit the nation for decades to come.

"This strategic focus will support the regeneration and industrialization of Scotland, as well as improving transport and connectivity links, and ensuring sustainable development through support for green networks and low carbon energy supply," he added. (PNA/Xinhua)


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