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Background Info

Currently, there are 40 NSAs across Scotland. In 2015, in relation to petition PE1564, the Scottish Government indicated that it had no plans to designate any further NSAs.

It is becoming clear that due to pressures from various quarters, including those of the renewable energy industry (both NPF3 and the Scottish Planning Policy (SPP p.43) mention NSAs in the context of windfarm development), some areas deserving of the title of National Scenic Area have not yet been recognised as being in urgent need of this. One such location, for example, is Loch Awe in Argyll.

The loch has a distinct and unique regional character, and provides an increasingly rare, quieter experience in an unspoilt landscape. It is extremely narrow, and is therefore vulnerable to significant detrimental impacts from any large renewable energy or infrastructure projects unavoidably visible to both sides of the loch.

These potential impacts on the tranquility and beauty of the area will have a subsequent impact on the locally dependent tourism sector and upon the natural wildlife in the Loch Awe area (which includes the Glen Etive and Glen Fyne Golden Eagle Special Protection Area).

While I have used Loch Awe as a specific example, the impacts of large infrastructure projects might also affect many other areas of Scotland that have their own distinct and unique regional character.

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