Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Wind Energy Planning Issues: Recreation and Tourism
A111. In many areas in Northern Ireland, recreation and tourism are a significant element of the local economy and can depend to varying degrees on the quality of the environment. It is not considered that wind energy developments are incompatible with tourism and leisure interests, but it is acknowledged that care does need to be taken to ensure that insensitively sited wind energy developments do not impact negatively on tourism potential. The results of survey work conducted in 2003 in the Republic of Ireland indicate that tourism and wind energy can co-exist happily10.
A112. For future wind farms, the judgment of acceptability based on landscape protection should provide adequate protection for tourism interests. The threshold of landscape protection is generally more sensitive to wind farm development than tourism, therefore if there is deemed to be acceptable within the landscape at the planning stage, there will be no unreasonable impacts on tourism interests.
A113. The educational potential of wind energy developments should also be considered. For example, there may be scope for interpretive centres on alternative energy resources to be located at accessible locations in proximity to some wind energy developments. It would be helpful if established long distance walking routes/amenity rights-of-way were identified and mapped to enable an assessment both of the extent to which recreational pursuits can be accommodated and facilitated either within or adjacent to wind energy developments.