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Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Wind Energy Landscape and Visual Impact: Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impacts

A66. The cumulative impact of a number of neighbouring developments is an important material consideration. The nature and character of the location, and the landscape in which a development is located, will in part determine the acceptability or otherwise of siting proposals in proximity to each other.
A67. A number of factors have influenced the current geographic distribution of wind farm proposals in Northern Ireland, for example:
  • the distribution of the viable wind resource;
  • technical and economic constraints to the viability of exploiting different wind speeds;
  • electricity grid access constraints;
  • protected areas; and
  • planning policy.
A68. These have tended to focus developments in a relatively limited number of areas. With increasing numbers of existing and proposed wind energy developments it is necessary to address the cumulative impacts on the landscape with reference to the context that probability of cumulative impacts is increased by existing renewable energy targets and hence greater demand for wind energy developments.
A69. The cumulative effects of wind farm development can arise as the combined consequences of:
  • an existing wind energy development and a proposed extension to that development;
  • proposals for more than one wind energy development within an area;
  • proposal(s) for new wind energy development(s) in an area with one or more existing development(s); and
  • any combination of the above.
A70. In assessing cumulative effects, it is unreasonable to expect these to extend beyond schemes in the vicinity that have been built, those which have permissions and those that are currently the subject of undetermined applications.
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