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The winds of change

The shake-up to Scotland's planning system unveiled last week will for the first time introduce a ban on the building of wind farms in national parks and national scenic areas, which account for about one-fifth of Scottish territory.

Previously the building of wind farms was not formally ruled out in any area of Scotland. According to planning minister Derek Mackay, the Scottish Government remains "strongly committed" to wind power, but it wants to make "the right developments in the right places".

Wild areas of Scotland which are not designated as national parks or national scenic areas will also enjoy more protection from development following the publication last week of a map by Scottish National Heritage which identifies 42 areas of land in the Highlands and Islands and the south of Scotland. The map, which is included in the updated Scottish Planning Policy document, identifies nationally-important areas of the "highest wildness in Scotland".

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Local government

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