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Green Planning in the British Isles

Published: 28/05/13

The Scottish Government have put forward a set of draft proposals to overhaul their planning system, which should help deliver more jobs and sustainable economic growth. It will also work towards meeting Scotland's ambitious renewable energy targets.
The changes will influence planning decisions across a range of sectors including transport, energy and infrastructure over the next 30 years. Key features of the proposals include:

  • Development of town centres to attract a greater number of visitors
  • Protection of designated wildlife areas from wind farm proposals, and the moving wind turbines away from residential areas
  • Developing Prestwick Airport and the adjacent enterprise zone as an aerospace centre
  • The building of two new carbon capture and storage schemes in Peterhead and Grangemouth
  • Consideration for onshore infrastructure for offshore renewable energy.

Planning minister Derek Mackay said: "Scotland needs a planning system that has, at its heart, the overriding principle of delivering sustainable economic growth in order to maximise the country's attraction to investors and visitors in a global economy."
He added: "By providing a clear vision, the proposals will be used to guide future development that will help Scotland achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets and also increase protection for our country's most environmentally important areas."
The Scottish Government now want to hear views from the Scottish general public about the draft plans.
Northern Ireland - 5p Plastic Bags
Last month retailers in Northern Ireland were forced to charge at least 5p for every carrier bag given to customers. Wales introduced a similar charge in 2011, which has led to a dramatic reduction in usage, with some retailers practically eliminating them. Scotland is currently working on plans to follow these examples to ban bags or impose a levy on their usage.

The European commission blames plastic bags for the majority of plastic waste polluting the marine environment and it is anticipated that the EU is also preparing to legislate on the issue.

England is now the only country in the UK not taking legislative steps to limit plastic bag usage amid fears about increasing the country’s living costs. This probably makes it a case of not if, but when.

 

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