Land at Blackpark Farm, Nairn
The Development Plan for the site comprises the Highland Wide Local Development Plan (‘HWLDP’) adopted in 2012, and the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan (‘IMFLDP’), adopted in 2015. Within the HWLDP, the site is identified as falling within Hinterland. There are no further designations identified within the IMFLDP Proposals Map.
As Battery Storage proposals are ancillary to renewable energy production, rather than generating energy in their own right, it is considered that they would fall under Policy 69 – Electricity Transmission Infrastructure within the HWLDP.
This Policy details that ‘Proposals for overground, underground or sub-sea electricity transmission infrastructure (including lines and cables, pylons/ poles and vaults, transformers, switches and other plant) will be considered having regard to their level of strategic significance in transmitting electricity from areas of generation to areas of consumption. Subject to balancing with this consideration, and taking into account any proposed mitigation measures, the Council will support proposals which are assessed as not having an unacceptable significant impact on the environment, including natural, built and cultural heritage features.’
The principle of development would be assessed against the wider IMFLDP and HWLDP policies in terms of environmental, amenity and other technical aspects. In this regard, the following wider policies within the HWLDP are of relevance:
• Policy 28 – Sustainable Design
• Policy 29 – Design Quality & Place-making
• Policy 30 – Physical Constraints
• Policy 36 – Development in the Wider Countryside
• Policy 51 – Trees and Development
• Policy 56 – Travel
• Policy 57 – Natural, Built & Cultural Heritage
• Policy 58 – Protected Species
• Policy 59 – Other Important Species
• Policy 60 – Other Important Habitats and Article 10 Features
• Policy 61 – Landscape
• Policy 63 – Water Environment
• Policy 64 – Flood Risk
• Policy 66 – Surface Water Drainage
• Policy 67 – Renewable Energy Developments
• Policy 72 – Pollution
• Policy 77 – Public Access
Planning Application History
The proposed site itself has not been the subject of any previous planning applications. However, it has previously been the subject of Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) Screening Opinion Requests and Scoping Opinion Requests respectively for the ‘A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass)’ (portal refs: 16/00527/SCRE & 16/00529/SCOP). An EIA Screening Opinion Request also covers the site for the ‘Erection of 500kw wind turbine with associated control box & access track’ (portal ref: 14/00590/SCRE).
Furthermore, the applicant lodged a PAN for the site, for the ‘Installation of a Grid Battery Energy Storage Facility (c.30MW) with Associated Development’ on the site in September 2022 (portal ref: ENQ/2022/0176), which is associated with this planning consultation.
It should also be noted that directly adjacent to the south east of the site, there are two existing planning permissions for the installation of a battery energy storage system (portal refs: 19/00702/FUL & 20/02589/FUL). The most recent permission was granted in December 2020. There is also a PAN in place on land directly adjacent to the north west of the site for ‘Mixed Use Development Including Residential, Business, Retail, Community Facilities (Including a New School Site) and Associated Supporting Infrastructure’ (portal ref: 21/04006/PAN).
Anesco encourages views from residents on the proposal as laid on this webpage.
Closing date for feedback is 14th December 2022.