A halt to building solar 'farms' on prime agricultural land might be on the cards following moves made by the Scottish Government.

The revised draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) was laid in the Scottish Parliament on November 8 for approval. If approved by the Scottish Parliament, NPF4 set the guidance for all future solar planning decisions.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The impacts of development on important and valued soils, including on prime agricultural land, will be a key consideration in decision-making. NPF4 identifies prime agricultural land as being Class 1, 2 or 3.1 in the Macaulay land capability classification.”

But, the restrictions may need to go further, according to Lib Dem agricultural spokesperson, Cllr Claire McLaren. The Strathtay councillor believed that too much quality food producing farmland is being lost in the drive for renewable energy.

She said: “I am not against solar or renewables, but we need to find a workable balance. At a time when food security is at the top of the agenda, more consideration needs to be given when we lose productive farmland to development.”

“Planning Committees are seeing an increase in applications for solar and battery storage sites on quality agriculture land. Planning policy needs to be more robust to protect from the loss of food producing land. Land that would be lost for future generations.”