Communities to get more say on wind turbine plans

Communities will have a greater say over wind turbine proposals and siting when the Government makes early consultation between local people and developers compulsory.

According to the Government, many communities feel forced to consider wind farm and turbine plans that “they have had no part in shaping”.

It says communities feel “cut out of the initial process of steering turbine development” and want early and open discussions with developers to influence proposals and to improve the outcome for their area.

New measures, to be laid before Parliament shortly, will require developers seeking planning permission for onshore wind development, involving more than two turbines or any turbine exceeding 15 metres in height, to consult the local community before submitting a formal planning application.

When a proposal meets the criteria, the developer will need to consult to ensure communities views about siting and other relevant planning issues can be heard first. The measure will come into force before the end of the year.

Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, said: “We are making sure local people have a crystal clear voice in airing their opinions on wind turbines very early on. From day one communities should be centre stage in crafting plans that affect their lives instead of having them forced upon them”.

Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, said: “Wind is an important part of the UK’s energy mix, and both government and industry agree that these proposals will ensure that new turbines are appropriately sited”.

Leigh Stringer

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