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Onshore Wind Policy Statement

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Chapter 7: Shared Ownership

The Scottish Government's approach on Shared Ownership.

  • In 2015 we published our "Good Practice Guidance for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments".
  • In November 2015, the Chief Planner issued a letter to Heads of Planning Scotland, highlighting the relation of shared ownership to net economic benefits in Scottish Planning policy.
  • Community schemes and those with a minimum element of shared ownership are eligible for non-domestic rates relief.
  • Onshore wind currently makes up the largest portion of community shared ownership - although the Scottish Government believes that it should be offered across all renewable technologies.

84. The Scottish Government's ambition is to see a significant increase in shared ownership of renewable energy projects in Scotland - putting energy into the hands of local communities, and delivering a lasting economic asset to communities across Scotland. All stakeholders stand to benefit from this goal being achieved, and from the greater partnership working that it can engender across a range of renewables developments.

85. Our ambition remains to ensure that, by 2020, at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership. The Scottish Government continues to encourage all developers to engage with local communities early in the process, and to offer - as standard, in any new or repowered development - the opportunity for shared ownership.

86. Shared ownership will play a key part in helping to meet our targets of 1GW of community and locally owned energy by 2020 and 2 GW by 2030. We expect community involvement in onshore wind developments to continue to play a vital role in reaching these targets.

87. The new CARES contract up to 2020 has supporting shared ownership opportunities as a top priority. The support and advice available through Community and Renewables Energy Scheme (CARES) has been praised by both developers and communities. Through CARES, communities can be advised and supported through a network of development officers to build capacity at a local level. This includes bespoke support for communities to guide through the range of interactions and relationships they can have with developers.

88. An offer of shared ownership does not constitute, nor should it be seen as, a proxy for community participation in the decision making process. Communities may object to a particular development application, but still be able to participate in discussions about a commercial arrangement should permission be granted.

89. There remains broad and welcome support from developers and communities for the principle of shared ownership. The benefits of local and community ownership are also highlighted in National Planning Framework 3.

90. The Chief Planner clarified, in 2015 that ownership itself is not a material consideration in determining the acceptability of development proposals in planning terms. However, this also clarified that the net economic impact, including the community socio-economic benefits such as employment, associated businesses and supply chain opportunities are relevant considerations and these are aspects that Ministers are keen to see strengthened in future projects.

91. The Scottish Government is committed to continuing discussions with key stakeholders on shared ownership. These will form a key part of our review of Good Practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments, which will take place during the course of 2018.