Ministers 'hint at easing of onshore wind restrictions'

A report that ministers have hinted that the government's 'block' on onshore wind farms could be eased features in today's newspaper round-up.

An article in The Telegraph says that "ministers have hinted the block on wind farms could fall away in communities that do not oppose the plans". The paper does not expand on this, but says the "softening stance was welcomed by an influential Tory backbencher earlier this week who said the energy source is due a rehabilitation from its toxic reputation". The paper quotes MP James Heappey saying that it is time to "rehabilitate onshore wind" for the communities which want them.

"Britain’s indebted councils have been spending billions of pounds on commercial property, raising fears that local authorities have ramped up their exposure to the troubled UK high street just as specialist investors look to exit", The Financial Times (subscription) reports. The paper says that "councils invested £4bn in land and buildings in the financial year to March 2018, an increase of 43 per cent from a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Officials believe £1.8bn of last year’s total was for investment purposes, a sixfold increase from 2014."

Telegraph columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that shale gas fracking is "part of the solution" for tackling climate change and boosting Britain’s economy. Evans-Pritchard says that he "laments" global warming but argues that fracking "will displace imported coal and gas with a higher carbon footprint".

The Guardian reports that "UK house prices grew at the slowest rate in five years in August, in the latest figures to identify a growing divergence between a sluggish London property market and faster rates of growth other regions". The paper says that "the average price of a UK home increased by 3.2 per cent in the year to August, to £232,797, in the lowest annual rate of growth since August 2013, according to the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Land Registry". London was "the only region where prices fell on an annual basis, down 0.2 per cent in the year to August", the paper says.


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