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    More bids for wind farms in the future

    March 16, 2023 - Strathspey & Badenoch Herald


      Cairngorms National Park Authority planners have said they expect more wind farm applications to come forward near to the park’s boundary following the introduction of new national planning policy blueprint.

      Scottish Ministers adopted and published National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) in mid-February.

      CNPA planners told planning committee members at their latest meeting on Friday that it now forms part of the decision-making framework for planning applications.

      NPF4 introduces some new policy areas on tackling climate change and nature crisis but it remains for the decision-maker to decide the significant weight that should be given to these matters.

      CNPA chief planner Gavin Miles explained that the change could lead to more wind farm bids on land designated as wild land areas.

      But he stressed that the Cairngorms National Park still has the same level of protection against wind turbines as prior.

      He stated: "Occasionally, the Cairngorms National Park Authority comments on planning applications that are outside the national park but affect its special qualities.

      "This is most notably where wind farm proposals outside the national park can have impacts on the national park."

      Mr Miles explained: "The basic planning policy in relation to wind farms and the national parks remains unchanged in NPF4 and national parks remain one of few areas in Scotland where wind farms are not supported inside their boundaries or outside if they would affect the objectives of the designation or its integrity.

      "However, NPF4 is explicitly intended to promote the development of more renewable energy generating capacity across Scotland through new and re-powered wind energy developments.

      "Much of the rest of Scotland is likely to see further wind energy development supported by NPF4, so it is likely that there will be further wind farm developments approved for areas surrounding the national park in future."

      Kingussie High School has scooped first place for two categories at this year’s nationwide Growing Future Assets Competition.

      The pupils, aged14–18, came out top in the contest which aims to nurture future women in investment and encourage them to consider a career in the investment management industry.

      After going to head-to-head with 660 schoolgirls competing from 144 teams across Scotland, Kingussie landed the top spot in both the junior and senior categories.

      Helen Bradley, Future Asset chief executive, said: "This is an exceptional result for KHS. The fact that they have won both categories is outstanding.

      "The judging panel was incredibly impressed with all of the entries but what really came across undeniably with both the teams from Kingussie was their ability to understand the key elements in making an investment decision, which is exactly what this competition is all about."

      The senior team, 16–18 age group category delivered a highly professional pitch on the sorting and recycling company TOMRA , whilst the junior team, 14–16 year category presented on renewable energy firm SolarEdge.

      Lenka Nagle, faculty head of mathematics and numeracy and computing at KHS, commented: "We’re always looking for ways to enrich our pupils learning and experiences beyond their core curriculum.

      "We’re remote and rural and aspirations can sometimes be shaped by what’s available and visible in our immediate environment and small local communities.

      "The Future Asset competition looked like a great way to provide insight into careers and industries that students wouldn’t usually come across. The statistics about female under-representation in investment management were very compelling and helped motivate some of our girls to get involved.

      "We’re quite shocked but obviously elated – the teams were literally jumping for joy! It’s testament to their efforts to research and learn about the companies in their limited spare time.

      "Hopefully this will inspire even more of our pupils – especially the girls – to see and believe in the possibilities out there for them."

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