Hill Track Permitted Development Rights Should Stay

NFU Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to maintain Permitted Development Rights for Hill Tracks in their current form, as part of their consultation response on the matter.

Currently, Hill Tracks may be constructed without planning consent for the purpose of agriculture, forestry, or for repairs, in recognition of the importance they hold for these sectors. There are restrictions in place for Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific interest and Special Protected Areas.

NFU Scotland has stressed to Scottish Government that this existing system works well for all parties, allowing farmers to carry out their day to day work, while protecting sensitive landscapes, wildlife and conservation areas.

Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland President, said:

“The current system of Permitted Development Rights for Hill Tracks works well, and allows a balance to be struck between the needs of everyday farming practices, while ensuring that areas of special interest or vulnerability remain protected.

“NFU Scotland believes that bringing in new legislation would be an expensive and needless exercise, which would at best simply replicate the current system, and at worst inhibit the day to day work of farmers.

“Hill Tracks are essential in allowing farmers to access their farms, and flexible rules are fundamental to allow their construction, maintenance and improvement. They also benefit the general public that use them to access the countryside for leisure purposes.

“At the other end of the scale, there have been issues in relation to tracks leading to large-scale wind farms which, when not landscaped appropriately, can be unsightly. However, we believe there is provision for these types of issues to be better addressed within the current framework of planning.”

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland responded to Consultation on Non-Domestic elements of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 – Hill Tracks


Contact Wendy Fleming on 0131 472 4020


Date Published:

News Article No.: 128/11

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