Clark sets out plans to give local people 'final say' on wind farms

New planning rules state that local authorities should only grant planning permission for onshore wind farms if the development site is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy development in a local or neighbourhood plan.

Wind energy: details of planning crackdown announced
Wind energy: details of planning crackdown announced

Communities secretary Greg Clark today set out new considerations to be applied to proposed wind energy developments so that local people have the "final say" on wind farm applications, following a commitment in the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto.

In a written ministerial statement, Clark said that the new rules would take effect from 18 June and should be taken into account in planning decisions.

The written statement said that, when determining applications for wind energy development involving one or more wind turbines, local planning authorities should only grant permission if:

- the development site is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy development in a local or neighbourhood plan; and

- following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have been fully addressed and therefore the proposal has their backing.

The written statement said that, in applying these new considerations, suitable areas for wind energy development will need to have been allocated clearly in a local or neighbourhood plan.

"Maps showing the wind resource as favourable to wind turbines, or similar, will not be sufficient," the statement said. "Whether a proposal has the backing of the affected local community is a planning judgement for the local planning authority."

The written statement also set out transitional provisions for wind energy applications that have already been submitted to local planning authorities where the development plan does not identify suitable sites.

It said: "In such instances, local planning authorities can find the proposal acceptable if, following consultation, they are satisfied it has addressed the planning impacts identified by affected local communities and therefore has their backing."

Last month, the government revealed plans to introduce legislation that would remove onshore wind projects of greater than 50 megawatts of capacity from the nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) regime.



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