Planning Conference Programme


Registration & networking


Net-Zero – from high ambition to delivery on the ground

The drive to be a net-zero nation by 2045 is the defining challenge of our time and planning is a key mechanism in realising this ambition.

The Scottish Government has promised a planning system fit for net-zero, but we are yet to see significant political progress on these reforms. Time is running out to get the planning system right.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The forces shaping the planning system, the tensions between them and their impact on renewables
  • Expert views on what a planning system to enable renewable energy projects at scale and pace needs to deliver
  • How we as an industry could respond to changes to the current system

Networking break


Getting the grit out of the system – decision making timescales in a climate emergency

With onshore renewables doing the heavy lifting in decarbonising our energy supply between now and 2030, we have a lot to achieve in just eight years.

Onshore consents take up to seven years, so net-zero cannot be achieved with current decision-making timescales. A planning system for net-zero needs to deliver consents predictably, consistently but most of all quickly.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The key points in the planning system that lengthen the decision-making process
  • The capacity and pace that is needed to achieve deployment levels consistent with net-zero
  • Key industry ideas to take to Government on how planning timescales can be reduced

Networking lunch


All a matter of balance – the reality of re-balancing the planning system

The Scottish Government promised a re-balancing of the planning system so the need to address climate change would be a guiding principle in all decision-making. But there is little evidence of this in the draft NPF4 and even less clarity on what it means in practice.

Net-zero cannot be achieved if other issues continue to be treated as equally important. We need to address the issue of a hierarchy within planning decision making.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The key issues currently at play in the planning balance
  • The scale of the change needed to genuinely rebalance the system
  • Key industry recommendations to Government on how planning can be rebalanced

Networking break


In the eye of the beholder – the thorny issue of visual impact

Despite widespread public support for onshore wind, the issue of visual impact continues to be a key deciding factor in planning decisions.

Accommodating 12GW more onshore wind in our landscape by 2030 to achieve net-zero means it will be visible. We need to address visual impact and where it fits in achieving our net-zero goal.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The extent to which visual impact influences planning decisions
  • The changing face of wind farms – tip heights, clusters, lighting and more
  • Expert views on where we go next with visual impact

Event close

Sponsors & Supporters

Links to sponsors' websites will open in a new browser tab.