Planning & Environment

Mackay Hannah’s conference “Energy Masterplanning and Smart Energy Infrastructure”, supported by Brodies, opened with a keynote address from the Minister, Fergus Ewing. He discussed how the key policy objectives of energy efficiency, decarbonisation and reducing fuel poverty, are being delivered.

My colleague Charles Smith discussed policy and regulatory developments in relation to heat networks (a specialism of his). He described it as a “good policy landscape”. The Scottish Government are consulting until 9 June on the Draft Heat Generation Policy Statement, so there is an opportunity to input your views. Paragraphs 5.3-7 refer to the role of the planning system, including the use of heat mapping.

There was mention of forthcoming guidance for public sector organisations on their powers and constraints, commissioned from Brodies by the Scottish Futures Trust, and due for publication in May. It will include a section on procurement, which is always a thorny issue.

During the discussion on heat networks, there was mention of Scandinavian examples of using the planning system to assist the investability of schemes by requiring developments – new and existing – to provide physical connection to a new network.

We also heard about SP Energy Networks Energy Investment Planning which is using information from local development plans and other external sources to coordinate future provision of energy infrastructure – Integrated Energy Planning.

Scottish Enterprise are focusing resource on decentralised energy – in energy intensive areas; areas with the opportunity for new types of generation – including geothermal; cities; and new development areas, where there is an opportunity to think differently.

Glasgow is part of the EU funded Step Up project, creating a model for energy planning, taking account of wider policy objectives including energy security, reduction of fuel poverty, greener cities, and economic regeneration. It has a Sustainable Energy Action Plan, and will publish its New City Energy and Carbon Masterplan this year. The planning system will play its part – the new local development plan and supplementary guidance will address resource management.

Neil Collar

Partner at Brodies LLP
Neil is a partner at Brodies LLP and consistently rated as one of Scotland’s leading planning lawyers. He is well known for both his planning inquiry advocacy and his advisory work. Neil has a particular interest in renewable energy developments.
Neil Collar