Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Wind Energy Planning Issues: Decommissioning and Reinstatement
A117. The decommissioning of a wind energy development once electricity ceases to be generated will need to be assessed. Plans for decommissioning should be outlined at the planning application stage. Issues to be addressed include restorative measures, the removal of above ground structures and equipment, landscaping and/or reseeding roads. On occasion it may be appropriate to allow tracks to remain, e.g., as part of a walking route after decommissioning.
A118. A decommissioning plan may be covered in conditions and/or a legal agreement accompanying planning permission and will be triggered by the expiry of the consent or in the event of the project ceasing to operate for a specified period. Developers should demonstrate that funding to implement decommissioning will be available when required.
A119. It is likely that the duration of the planning permission will be linked to the expected operational life of the turbines. However during this period, proposals may be forthcoming to extend the life of the project by re-equipping or to replace the original turbines with new ones. While there are obvious advantages in utilising established sites, such cases will have to be determined on their individual merit and in the light of the then prevailing policy and other relevant considerations.