Planning & Environment

Ms Christine Metcalfe and Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council in Argyll have made their mark on UK renewables, obtaining a draft ruling by the UN Compliance Committee, reported by The Independent under the headline “Exclusive: UN ruling puts future of wind farms in Britain in jeopardy“.

AKCC used the Aarhus Convention in an attack on 2 broad issues: adequacy of environmental information, and lack of public participation:

environmental information – on the dispute over methods for the calculation of the merits of wind energy, the Compliance Committee declined to get involved, finding that it has neither the mandate nor the capacity to assess the accuracy or adequacy of the environmental information in question.

public participation – AKCC were successful in obtaining a draft ruling that the UK’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) was not subjected to public participation. However, the draft ruling does not invalidate NREAP. What it does is tell the UK to make sure that future plans/ programmes are subject to public participation.

The impact of this case is therefore muted, especially since AKCC themselves recognised that many other renewable energy policy documents have been the subject of public participation.

The Compliance Committee also rejected the allegation that the decision-making for the Carraig Gheal wind farm and linked access (West Loch Awe Timber Route) failed to comply with the Convention.


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