Concern over renewables burden on households

Reaction to the publication of the government's flagship Energy Bill features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Telegraph reports warnings from charities and consumer groups that the Bill's measures will lead to families being "burdened with tripled green taxes to help pay for wind farms and nuclear power". The paper says households and businesses will have to pay £7.6 billion a year by 2020, up from the current £2.35 billion.

The Times (subscriber only) highlights the loss of wind subsidies, saying that "money from levies on household bills will instead go to heavy industry and large businesses to excourage them to cut their energy consumption". According to the newspaper, the announcement has caused concern in the renewables industry that the move could put off investors.

The Independent columnist Terence Blacker writes about planning minister Nick Boles' call for the amount of developed land across England to be increased from nine to 12 per cent. Blacker says that the countryside "was central to our self-promoting pitch to the world at the recent Olympics" and "to sacrifice it for short-term gain, when brownfield sites for 1.5 million potential new homes already exist, would be the true betrayal of future generations".

In The Telegraph, news that plans by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to open a deli and canteen in Winchester "have been met with open revolt". The paper reports that residents are "horrified", but it says the chef's River Cottage brand has already signed a lease on a Grade-II listed building in need of restoration.

Finally, The Times reports that "controversial reforms" could mean councils will be able to spend their health budgets on cycle lanes and training from next April. The paper says the move has been opposed by some health workers but welcomed by transport groups. According to the paper, the news comes as medicines watchdog NICE issued guidance on promoting cycling and walking "as a way of improving public health".

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