Consultation to be compulsory for wind developments over two turbines

Onshore wind developers proposing more than two turbines or any turbine exceeding 15 metres in height will need to carry out pre-application consultation with local communities, the government has announced.

Turbines: DCLG has announced thresholds above which pre-application consultation will need to be carried out
Turbines: DCLG has announced thresholds above which pre-application consultation will need to be carried out


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced the change today. The policy was first mooted in the summer when communities secretary Eric Pickles said that "more significant" wind farms would need to carry out pre-application consultation.

The measure will be laid before Parliament shortly and will come into force before the end of the year, the DCLG said in a statement.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: "From day one communities should be centre stage in crafting plans that affect their lives instead of having them forced upon them.

"Ensuring communities have a greater say at an early stage allows developers to consider much earlier whether to pursue a proposal and what changes they should consider before putting forward formal plans. Our changes allow people’s views and other impacts to be taken into consideration much earlier."

Pre-application consultation is already common for commercial-scale wind farms, the statement added.

Industry body Renewable UK welcomed the announcement. Renewable UK deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: "This latest condition is part of the process of pre-consultation, which the industry has signed up to."

Recent data released by the body shows that the average size of wind farms submitted for planning approval in England between July 2012 and June 2013 is 7.7MW.


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