5 Guidance on Implementing Section 3F
5.1 The Scottish Government currently uses two means of providing guidance to developers and planning authorities on the implementation of Section 3F:
1) Including guidance and identifying policy approaches taken in local development plans within the annual reports to the Scottish Parliament.
2) Making representations (where necessary) to planning authorities on their proposed local development plans.
6.2 On 19 August 2016 it was indicated through a Chief Planner Letter that the Scottish Government would reduce their input to development plans to better focus resources. The Scottish Government therefore no longer provide responses to working drafts or main issues reports but will, as indicated in the Development Plan Gateway Service Standard, make representations about proposed local development plans. This will be done where it is not considered that Section 3F is adequately addressed.
5.3 As mentioned in previous reports, the Scottish Government look for three elements, which are considered to remain appropriate, to be covered in a local development plan policy aimed at implementing Section 3F:
- A proportion of emissions to be saved.
- At least one increase in the proportion of emissions to be saved.
- A requirement that savings should be achieved through the use of generating technology (rather than energy efficiency measures).
5.4 In 2016 ClimateXChange published a University of Dundee study, commissioned by the Scottish Government, on the effectiveness of greenhouse gas emissions policies in local development plans. The study, considered in detail in the sixth annual report, while not intended as guidance for planning authorities, is useful in helping to shape the policy approach taken locally. In terms of application of Section 3F and securing uptake, the study found that a check‑sheet approach at the planning application stage had proved useful.
5.5 The study was also clear that monitoring and enforcement of the implementation of low and zero-carbon energy generating technologies does not appear to have been strong to date.