APRS Resources

Response from HES – Battery Storage at Cochno

This is the reply from Historic Scotland on our letter of concern about the impact of a large Battery Storage development on the Cochno Stones

Elizabeth McCrone, Director of Heritage, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH 

Elizabeth.McCrone@hes.scot T: +44 (0) 131 688 8719 Our case ID: 300067710

27 February 2024 

Dear Dr Jones 

Whitehall Battery Energy Storage System, on Land Near Cochno Road, East  Dunbartonshire [ECU00004982] 

Thank for your letter dated 14 February 2024 to Alex Paterson about the above  development proposal. As Director of Heritage, Alex has asked me to reply on his behalf. 

I thought it would be helpful first of all to talk about our role before explaining our  comments on the development proposal.  

HES and the planning system 

Our role in the planning system is to provide advice on the potential impacts of  development proposals on the historic environment. More specifically, we are a statutory  consultee for planning applications that affect world heritage sites, scheduled monuments  and their setting, category A listed buildings and their setting, historic gardens and  designed landscapes and battlefields in their respective Inventories and historic marine  protected areas. We don’t have a role in commenting on undesignated sites and places  like the ones you mention in your letter. You can read more about our role in the planning  system in Our Regulatory Framework. 

Our comments on a development proposal are taken into account by the decision-maker  – which in this case is the Energy Consents Unit (ECU). Our comments will be considered  alongside other comments made by other statutory consultees, including WoSAS who  are East Dunbartonshire Council’s archaeological and conservation advisors, and  members of the public. The ECU will then weigh these up and reach their decision based  on these, and in line with the relevant planning policies and guidance. 

Our view on the proposal 

Historic Environment Scotland – Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH Scottish Charity No. SC045925 

VAT No. GB 221 8680 15 

We reviewed the Historic Environment Desk-based Assessment (DBA) that was included  in the consultation and assessed this for our historic environment interests. We noted that there would not be any direct impacts on the scheduled monument known as  Cochno, cup and ring marked stone 115m SW of Silver Firs (SM716), and that any  setting impacts are unlikely to be significant.  

In light of this, we didn’t object to the proposals in our advice to the ECU. It is now up to  them to consider this alongside other comments when they reach their decision, including  any local objections. 

Undesignated archaeological sites 

I note your specific concerns about the potential impact on unscheduled rock art sites  which are near Windyhill Hill Farm and not far from Cochno Road. Although these sites  are outwith our remit to comment on, you may wish to consider bringing them to the  attention of WoSAS and to the ECU, if you have not already done so. 

You may also wish to consider proposing that the undesignated rock art sites be  assessed for designated as scheduled monuments. You can do this here:  https://www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support/listing-scheduling-and designations/scheduled-monuments/propose-a-site-for-scheduling/. The process can  take a number of months though and therefore won’t affect this current planning  application. We also don’t normally schedule sites where development proposals are  particularly advanced (see page 7 of our designation-policy-selection-guidance.pdf).  

If you would like to discuss any of the above further, my colleague Nicola Hall, Senior  Ancient Monuments Officer (nicola.hall@hes.scot) would be happy to talk with you.  

Yours sincerely,  

Elizabeth McCrone | Director of Heritage

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