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Scotland proposes home turbine boom

The skyscape of hundreds of Scottish towns may undergo a radical transformation if new measures to relax planning permission rules are enforced, ministers have said.

Under the new rules, homeowners would be allowed to erect wind turbines or air-source heat pumps without planning permission in a bid to meet the country’s goals to cut carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2050.

Environmentally conscious homeowners would be permitted to erect a 3m high turbine on their roof and an 11.1m free-standing turbine in their garden under the proposals, which are due to be launched on 5 February as part of the Scottish Government’s ongoing plans to address the country’s carbon output.

Anemometer masts, which measure wind speed, would be allowed on roofs and in gardens but only for a maximum of 12 months and air-source heat pumps would be allowed in conservation areas if they were invisible from the road, according to the new measures.

Climate change minister Stewart Stevenson said: ‘This is not a vision of unrestricted development. But I believe our proposals strike the right balance in the best interests of Scotland.’

Mike Thornton, Scottish director of the Energy Saving Trust, said: ‘Permitted development rights for these technologies are an important step in reducing the barriers for their uptake.’

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