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To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-24001 by Alex Neil on 21 January 2015, what discussions it has had with local authorities regarding raising the maximum planning fee for wind farm developments to the same level as applied in England, Wales and North Ireland.

Answered by Alex Neil (04/02/2015):

Following discussions with planning authorities and business representatives, the Scottish Government consulted in 2012 on proposals for a revised structure for planning fees, including the introduction of a new category for wind farms and an ‘across the board’ increase of the maximum fee for development to £100,000.

Following the consultation, it was decided that the existing fee structure and classes should be retained and that planning fees and fee maxima should instead be increased by approximately 20%. This ‘across the board’ increase was implemented in 2013, with a further increase of, on average, 5% in 2014.

Larger wind farm developments of over 50 megawatt generating capacity are not dealt with through the planning system, but are instead considered under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. Increasing planning fees would therefore have no impact on the fee payable for such developments.

Current Status: Answered by Alex Neil on 04/02/2015
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