Wind energy on the Isle of Lewis: Implications for deliberative planning

Janet Fisher, Katrina Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Under a new nationalist leadership, the Scottish Government has recently increased its renewable energy targets but rejected a controversial large windfarm proposal on the Isle of Lewis. This paper explores the nature of support and opposition to windfarm developments on Lewis. In doing so, we build on recent literature which has promoted a discursive approach to wind energy debates, to enable a more explanatory, rather than descriptive, analysis. A novel combination of Q methodology and more conventional qualitative work is deployed to identify and elaborate five distinct discourses on the Lewis Wind proposal. Each displays a different rationality and set of priorities on the economy, landscape, and environment, and ultimately represents a different vision of development in the Western Isles. The paper explores the challenges that such a clash of values presents to the planning process and reflects upon what can be learnt about deliberative planning from this case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2516-2536
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009

Cite this