Wind Turbine Spatial Framework - Scotland

This dataset contains areas classified by their suitability for onshore wind turbine development, falling into one of three groups:

Group 1: Areas where wind farms will not be acceptable: National Parks and National Scenic Areas

Group 2: Areas of significant protection: Recognising the need for significant protection, in these areas wind farms may be appropriate in some circumstances. Further consideration will be required to demonstrate that any significant effects on the qualities of these areas can be substantially overcome by siting, design or other mitigation.

National and international designations: World Heritage Sites; Natura 2000 and Ramsar sites; Sites of Special Scientific Interest; National Nature Reserves; Sites identified in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes; Sites identified in the Inventory of Historic Battlefields.

Other nationally important mapped environmental interests: areas of wild land as shown on the 2014 NatureScot map of wild land areas; carbon rich soils, deep peat and priority peatland habitat.

Community separation for consideration of visual impact: an area not exceeding 2km around cities, towns and villages identified on the local development plan with an identified settlement envelope or edge. The extent of the area will be determined by the planning authority based on landform and other features which restrict views out from the settlement.

Group 3 - Area with potential for wind farm development: Beyond groups 1 and 2, wind farms are likely to be acceptable, subject to detailed consideration against identified policy criteria. Reference should be made to Scottish Government planning and renewable energy policy. In the first instance, this is Scottish Planning Policy (June 2014) paragraphs 161 to 174, in the context of the overarching policy of "A Low Carbon Place".

It should be noted that some terminology relating to "spatial frameworks" and "areas of search" may no longer be in use, and reference should be made to planning advice on renewable energy (February 2017) at

NB. Some local authorities have only provided Group 3 areas so far.


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This dataset was amalgamated, optimised and published by the Spatial hub. For more information visit