Planning for rural communities and major renewable energy infrastructure

Authored by: Lucy Natarajan

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:


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As renewable energy infrastructure (REI) expands globally, rural planning is faced with a series of challenges involved in the uses of rural land for energy generation purposes and the consequent effects on rural communities, particularly where major or large-scale infrastructure development is involved. While renewable energy may not conform to traditional definitions of ‘extraction’ it nonetheless derives production from rural space, thus contributing to long-standing concerns around the balance of power between urban and rural. Debates around REI decision-making have demonstrated a ‘gap’ between national support for a transition to renewable energy and local resistance to the development of REI. This chapter presents an empirical study of three cases of planning decisions on REI projects in Wales, which were made under the UK’s Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime. It draws on data from official archives to help unpack the challenges of planning both for rural communities in light of major renewable energy infrastructure in a rural context.

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