10,000 signatures reached
To: The Scottish Government
Protect Scotland's remaining wild land from development
To ensure that Scotland's precious remaining areas of wild land, as identified by Scottish Natural Heritage’s wild land map, are fully protected from large scale development.
To change current Scottish planning policy to clarify that planning applications for industrial developments in such areas will be unacceptable. Examples of such applications include the Talladh a' Bheithe wind farm at Rannoch, and the Allt Duine wind farm in the Monadhliath mountains.
Why is this important?
The proportion of Scotland from which built development could not be seen has dropped by two fifths in 11 years, to 27% in 2013 - an immense change in Scotland's landscape. The remaining wild land has been officially mapped by Scottish Natural Heritage for inclusion in national planning policy.
We the undersigned support the Mountaineering Council of Scotland in calling for no further industrial developments to be permitted in the areas of wild land that remain.
Protecting the remaining wild land in this way will have many benefits:
- Wild mountain landscapes form a vital part of Scotland's culture.
- Wild and challenging landscapes inspire people to become more physically active, helping to combat national problems with inactivity; there is also strong evidence that they improve mental health
- Tourism is one of Scotland's largest industries, and is by far the largest source of employment in the more remote communities that lie close to areas of wild land (the wild land itself, by definition, does not contain any communities). We need to protect jobs in these communities that depend on the continued existence of wild landscapes nearby.
- Local councils will benefit from reducing the high costs they are currently incurring in having to deal with planning applications for inappropriate developments in wild land areas; the planning process, public inquiries and appeals often taking years.
- The renewable energy industry will benefit by having been given clarity that wild land is not a suitable location for development. This will save money, time, controversy and reputational damage through planning battles in these areas. Renewable energy may be a vital part of Scotland's future, but wind farms - like all other large scale developments - can be sited elsewhere, in landscapes where visible development and intrusion is already prevalent. When wild land is developed, it is lost forever. More is being lost each year. We must protect what now remains of these precious landscapes.