The procedure for submitting a new application for consent and the publicity requirements are set out in:
- The Electricity (Applications for Consent) Regulations 1990
- The Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017
The Regulations also set out the requirement for public notices and consultation in the event of a request by Scottish Ministers for additional information following the submission of an application.
The procedure for submitting an application for variation of an existing Section 36 consent and the publicity requirements are set out in:
- The Electricity Generating Stations (Applications for Variation of Consent) (Scotland) Regulations 2013
In considering energy consents applications, Scottish Ministers must strike a balance between the interests of developers, energy and planning policy, as well as community interests and environmental considerations.
All applications for EIA development must be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment report, which describes the effects the development is likely to have on the environment. For overhead line applications that don't require an EIA report, see our guidance on overhead line applications without an EIA report.
Both the application and the EIA are available to the public.
Scottish Ministers must consult the planning authority, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES) as well as other relevant consultees, and take their views into account during the decision-making process.
In circumstances where important issues are raised, Ministers can decide to hold a Public Local Inquiry before decisions are taken. Ministerial approval of a project usually includes deemed planning permission, and it authorises the developer to construct and begin operating the development within five years of the date of decision, subject to relevant conditions relating to environmental and other impacts.
Further information is available in the application process guide. Details of the fees charged are provided by the Electricity (Applications for Consent and Variation of Consent) (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2019. A ready reckoner spreadsheet tool has also been made available to aid the calculation of application fees.
Current legislation states notice of an application must be advertised:
- in one or more local newspapers (circulating in the locality in which the land to which the application relates is situated) for two successive weeks.
- in one or more national newspapers (e.g. The Herald, The Scotsman) on one occasion.
- in the Edinburgh Gazette on one occasion.
- in the case of an application for EIA development, on the developer's application website.
There are common errors made involving public notices which may result in the notice having to be re-advertised. Developers can ensure compliance with the legislation by making sure the following points are met:
1. Submit a draft advert: a draft advert needs to be sent to the Energy Consents Unit prior to publication. Draft adverts must be submitted for approval two weeks in advance of the publication date. Hard copies should also be submitted to the Energy Consents Unit once published. The applicant should check everything including the company details, description of development and central grid reference is accurate.
2. Provide documents on time: the documents listed in the advert must be made available at the time stated in the chosen location. A delay in the documents being made available will result in the notice having to be re-advertised.
3. Ensure accessible locations: the chosen locations must be as close as practicable to communities likely to be affected by the development and readily available to the members of public to enable representations to be made.
4. Double check dates: ensure correct dates are used within the advert, if any dates are wrong the notice will need to be re-advertised to ensure legal requirements are met.
5. Factor in public holidays: when stating your representation deadline date, please ensure you have considered any local or national holidays which may affect this deadline. The deadline date can be no less than 30 days after the publication date of the last notice.
Applicants and agents can now apply for consent online via the Energy Consents website.
Please go to http://www.energyconsents.scot/RegisterUser.aspx to register your details.
For further help please email Econsents_admin@gov.scot
Download templates for public notices below:
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