Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ban on onshore wind farms lifted in England

A de facto ban on onshore wind farms in England has been lifted, fulfilling a promise by Energy Secretary Ed Miliband to remove two significant planning barriers introduced by David Cameron in 2015. These barriers had effectively halted new wind farm installations.

While Rishi Sunak had also pledged to lift the ban, the minimal changes made by his government last year did not result in any new public wind farm submissions for planning permission.

Wind farm developers previously faced two major hurdles: local councils were required to have plans for the best turbine sites, a resource-intensive task many could not manage, and there was ambiguity around the requirement for “community support,” leading to concerns that even a single objection could derail a project.

Both of these obstacles have now been eliminated. “The removal of these tests from planning policy means that onshore wind applications will be treated in the same way as other energy development proposals,” the government announced in a policy statement on onshore wind today. This change takes effect immediately.