Wind power zoning

As a rule, wind power construction is subject to the same regulations as other construction.  Basically, the implementation of major wind turbines must be based on zoning that complies with the Land Use and Building Act.

This means that the areas suitable for wind power construction are determined in the land use plan.

An amendment to the Land Use and Building Act (134/2011) concerning wind power construction became effective on 1 April 2011. The amendment enables granting of a building permit to wind turbines directly on the basis of the local master plan.

The process of drawing up the local master plan or component master plan is launched at the decision of the municipal board. When preparing the plan, the party planning the project interacts (e.g. through meetings with land owners) with those people and communities whose living conditions or benefits may be considerably affected by the plan.

At the start of the zoning process, the key procedures related to participation and interaction are compiled in a participation and assessment scheme. In various stages of the process, negotiations between authorities will be held, dealing with the targets and views of various authorities with respect to the drafted plan.

At the beginning of the zoning process, the impacts of the plan on the living environment are assessed and various studies are carried out on the current situation of the area, including nature, avifauna, noise, land owners, residual property unit and cultural heritage assessments. It must be possible to establish on the basis of the basic studies on the plan and through impact assessment that the plan meets the requirements set out in the Land Use and Building Act.

Once the basic studies have been completed, the zoning process continues with the preparation of a plan draft, which will be put on public display for 30 days, and the parties concerned are requested to submit comments on the plan draft. On the basis of the feedback, the plan draft will be processed and turned into a plan proposal, which will be put on public display for 30 days. Comments are also requested on the plan proposal.

Negotiation between authorities to process the feedback on the plan will be held during the draft and proposal stages of the plan. After that, the City Board may approve the plan with any amendments.