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Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work 0131 228 9900
Fax 0131 228 1222
551970 EDINBURGH-53

Colin Innes

Work 0131 473 5104
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Planning and Environment


Colin is a partner and accredited specialist in planning law. Regarded in Scotland as a planning legend, he advises clients in the private and public sectors on both contentious and non-contentious planning matters. On the contentious side he represents clients at public inquiries, hearings and also advises in respect of court challenges to planning decisions. He has significant expertise in relation to energy related projects including thermal plant, renewable energy and grid. He is also involved in other major infrastructure projects including road schemes and major mixed use schemes. Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a planning specialist, Colin advised Vattenfall Wind Power Limited on their Aberdeen Bay consenting, famously challenged by the Trump Organisation LLC and Trump International Golf Links Scotland Limited. Most recent work includes advising DF Concerts on the relocation of T in the Park, Scotland's iconic music festival. Chambers and Partners 2015 note: 'Colin Innes is recognised as a leading light in the sector and particularly acclaimed for his expertise in renewables and retail work. Sources praise his "tremendous and valuable knowledge," and call him "a class act – hugely impressive."'


Trained Shepherd and Wedderburn; qualified Scotland 1994; England and Wales 1997; partner 1998 to date. Publications of note: legal adviser to Scottish Government sponsored research on roads construction consent, 'designing streets' and the Town Centre Toolkit.


United Kingdom Environmental Law Association; The Law Society of Scotland; legal associate Royal Town Planning Institute.


The Edinburgh Academy; University of Aberdeen (1990 LLB Hons; 1991 Diploma in Legal Practice; 1992 LLM Environmental Law).


Fishing, visiting historic buildings; chairman Salmon & Trout Association (Scotland); member National Trust for Scotland.

Scotland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Within: Energy (excluding oil and gas)

Shepherd and Wedderburn¬†Edinburgh, which is active in high-profile¬†renewable and alternative energy projects across Scotland and the UK, has practitioners with specialist knowledge of areas such as real estate, planning and environment, M&A/private equity and project finance.¬†Patricia Hawthorn¬†recently led a team which successfully represented Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind (NNG) in judicial review proceedings brought by the RSPB, following the decision by the Scottish Ministers to grant consent to four offshore wind farms in the Forth and Tay including the 450MW NNG project. The group is currently assisting the same client with other issues connected with the project, including a new consent application, the acquisition of land rights and banking-related matters. Scott McCallum, Stephen Hubner, Liz McRobb¬†and others are advising¬†√ėrsted on the planning, environmental, property and commercial aspects of the 1.8MW Hornsea Two Offshore Wind Farm. In 2017, clean energy head¬†Clare Foster¬†(who is also the head of project finance) led a cross-practice team, which acted for AOE Windfarm in the¬†¬£16.6m¬†refinancing of a newly-acquired operational 11.5MW onshore wind farm. Gordon Downie¬†is an expert in¬†UK/EU competition law and regulatory issues. Colin Robertson, Colin Innes, Daniel Lee¬†and senior associate¬†Nicky Pascoe¬†are also recommended.

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Scotland: Real estate


Within: Environment

Shepherd and Wedderburn, whose team operates on a cross-departmental basis, has a particularly strong capability in advising national and international developers on environmental law issues arising from energy sector projects, such as those related to onshore and offshore wind, wave, tidal, energy from waste and coal-fired power. In 2017, Ewan MacLeod and Chris Devlin advised Brown & Mason Limited on the planning and environmental issues associated with the demolition of Scottish Power's power station at Longannet in Fife; this was Scotland's last coal-fired power station. Colin Innes, Colin Robertson, Scott McCallum and others are acting for Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Limited in the planning, property and environmental aspects of the 1,116MW Moray East offshore wind development in the Moray Firth. With the firm having successfully represented Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Limited in high-profile judicial review proceedings against the RSPB, Patricia Hawthorn and others are assisting the client with a new consent application for the Neart na Gaoithe project. Hawthorn jointly leads the environment practice with Innes. In addition to acting for energy sector clients, Jamie Grant advises those from infrastructure, ports and harbours, and hotels and leisure. Richard Leslie is also recommended.

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Within: Leading individuals

Colin Innes - Shepherd and Wedderburn

Within: Planning

Shepherd and Wedderburn's market-leading reputation is underscored by its portfolio of high-end work, with particular strengths in industries such as energy, residential development and retail. The team, which is equally strong in high-profile contentious and non-contentious planning matters, is jointly led by Ewan MacLeod and Colin Innes (who chairs the Law Society of Scotland Planning Accreditation Committee). MacLeod and senior associate Fraser Mitchell recently assisted Taylor Wimpey and CALA Homes with obtaining planning permission, and successfully represented the clients at a related judicial review, over the development of sites at Maidenhill in Newton Mearns. MacLeod and Mitchell also defended CALA Homes at a judicial review challenge raised by Jordanhill Community Council over the proposed redevelopment of the former Jordanhill College Campus. In the renewable energy sector, Innes and Scott McCallum are acting for Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Limited in the planning aspects of the 1,116MW Moray East offshore wind development in the Moray Firth. In another matter, MacLeod advised Brown & Mason on a consenting strategy, which was agreed with Fife Council, to faciliate the demolition of Scottish Power's coal-fired Longannet power station. Elsewhere, clients such as British Land and Sainsbury's instruct the firm on all of their Scottish projects.

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Making the most of onshore wind assets

June 2016. By Colin Innes

Currently there is about 210 MW of operating onshore wind capacity that is older than 15 years, but by 2020 this figure will grow to nearly 1,000 MW. As onshore wind farms reach the end of their design life, there are a range of options which will be available to the operator. These range from seeking to extend the life of the existing turbines ¬Ė ¬Ďlife extension¬í ¬Ė or alternatively redevelopment on the existing site, but with new generating assets usually described as ¬Ďrepowering¬í. The extent to which there will be opportunities within the UK for either will depend on the development of a regulatory framework which allows a route to market for onshore wind beyond the currently announced levels of support. [Continue Reading]

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