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Industry Minister: building wind farms 'must be made easier'  

Winning planning consent for wind farms must be made easier, the government has said. Objections by local residents and councils can delay projects by several years.

Industry Minister Maud Olofsson is now demanding a change to the law:

“We cannot have lots of cases in the courts all the time. Fundamentally, we need a planning law that is easier and quicker,” she told SVT.

The government is to set up an inquiry to carry out a review of regulations and make proposals for how the building process can be expedited. The inquiry will be led by Ulf Andersson, a former chief counsel in the Department of the Environment. The inquiry will report at the end of 2008.

At the end of 2004 the then-ruling Social Democrats reached an agreement with their allies in the Left Party and with Olofsson’s Centre Party to expedite the building of large, sea-based wind farms.
In 2006 the Social Democratic government relaxed environmental regulations governing the building of wind farms, but requirements for planning consent remained.

The Local

4 August 2007

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