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How to keep project delays to a minimum Environment custodians are keen to help deliver sustainable projects, says Kenny Taylor.

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read with interest in the last issue of Energy Matters, Alex Reading’s article ‘Small scale hydro: time is of the essence’. In it, he warns of underestimating the time taken for discharging conditions on planning consents, and the risks associated with an already constrained construction window.

l Above: The ground source loop being installed at the Tomintoul Croft. l Left: The ground source heat pump is in an outbuilding. l Below: Installing the limecrete over the underfloor heating pipes. l Top left: The croft in the 1890s.

Our role at Scottish Natural Heritage with regard to renewable energy proposals is to help deliver sustainable projects which minimise environmental impacts, predominantly through engagement at the pre-app and application stages. Our Service Statement for Planning for Development reads: ‘Where planning obligations are incorporated into the consent, we expect the developer to meet those obligations (e.g. need for a habitat management plan, construction management plan, monitoring) without further reference to us.’ Producing a good quality, focused Environment Statement with adequate information for assessment, and taking account of our advice should help in placing the right development in the right location. And following our guidance and making use of online planning tools should minimise the need for further consultation. For most developments this should be the case. But there are matters that require further input from us, including: • Pre-construction surveys triggering species licensing requirements, • Responding to reporting on protected species surveys that have triggered ‘down-tool’ periods, possibly leading to a risk of an wildlife crime/offence being committed (e.g. protected species in trees to be felled), • Significant changes to the design for which the CMS/ CEMP doesn’t cater, • A breach of conditions relating to the natural heritage where advice is required. In an effort to avoid delays, we recommend the following: • Know your site and its sensitivities, • Communicate these to the whole project team, • Familiarise yourself with ecological calendars, for ­surveys and mitigation work, • Plan for works out of the winter season – and get the best forecasting that you can, • Maintain mitigation measures, • Understand the requirements of wildlife and ­environmental law, Kenny Taylor is a Renewable­ • Apply for licenses in Energy Policy good time. and Advice All queries relating to a proOfficer at posed development should ­Scottish Natural be made via the local SNH Heritage. area office.

www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk | Twitter: @CKDGEnergy | Energy Matters Autumn 2015 | Page 9

Profile for Galbraith

Galbraith Energy Matters Autumn 2015  

Energy Matters Autumn 2015 News and views from Galbraith on the current issues affecting the Renewable Energy Industry. Autumn 2015.

Galbraith Energy Matters Autumn 2015  

Energy Matters Autumn 2015 News and views from Galbraith on the current issues affecting the Renewable Energy Industry. Autumn 2015.