Wind farm protesters get support
The planning minister Nick Bowles has backed opposition to wind farms.
In a letter to the Conservative MP John Hayes, Mr Boles said: “We should be working with communities rather than seemingly riding roughshod over their concerns.
“We have been very clear that the Government’s policies on renewable energy are no excuse for building wind farms in the wrong places.”
There are currently 3,350 onshore wind turbines in operation generating around 5 gigawatts: enough for 2.4 million homes. However, for the government to meet its 2020 renewable generation targets a further 8 gigawatts of onshore wind generation are required.
Mr Boles emphasised that local communities need to be involved in the planning process: “We need a package of measures that can command broad public support which is consistent with our emphasis on local and neighbourhood planning which puts local communities in the driving seat.
“We should be quite clear that local communities and their accountable councils can produce their own distinctive plans to help shape where developments should and should not take place.”
Speaking to the Telegraph a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The whole point of the planning system is to ensure that developments happen in the right places and take into account local concerns.
“There are some terrific examples of best practice out there, where people feel positively about their local wind farms and we want to learn lessons from these.”
Wind farms policy – The place of onshore wind farms in UK energy policy has had a protracted history.