Avoid developments on peatland
Reduce loss of peatland through development and maintain an overview of any losses.
Peatland is lost as a result of a range of developments that require planning consent, such as renewable energy projects, residential housing and road projects. Developers should be required to avoid siting development on sensitive peatlands and on deep peat in the first instance and where losses are unavoidable restoration opportunities should be maximised.
It is also important that a clear understanding of any losses is achieved. It is potentially misleading to claim benefits for gains through restoration when the direct loss of peatland or degradation of condition as a result of built development is not currently accounted for. Scottish Government, ideally via a single agency, should require developers to robustly assess any losses on their sites and maintain an overview of these.
For further information:
- Peatland damage, IUCN UK Peatland Programme, 2023, https://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme. org/about-peatlands/peatland-damage