February 7, 2012
England, U.K.

Northamptonshire MP leads bid against wind farm subsidies

Chronicle & Echo, www.northamptonchron.co.uk 7 February 2012

More than 100 MPs have signed a letter urging the Prime Minister to slash subsidies given to wind farm developers.

Conservative MP for Daventry, Chris Heaton-Harris, believes a cut would dramatically reduce the high volume of wind farm applications in Northamptonshire.

Mr Heaton-Harris’s letter, which has been signed by 106 MPs, including 101 Conservatives, also put pressure on David Cameron to give local people more influence to stop developments being built.

He said concern over wind farms was one of the biggest issues in his constituency, and said: “There would be a dramatic reduction in new wind farm applications in Northamptonshire. It’s one of the least windy places in the country.

“A large chunk of the subsidies is paid on energy production and we wouldn’t be producing that amount of energy.”

Although the letter does not mention a figure, Mr Heaton-Harris said he would like to see the subsidies reduced “dramatically.”

The MP also argued more weight should be given to landscape and heritage issues when deciding applications.

In the letter, Mr Heaton-Harris said MPs had grown “more and more concerned” about the Government’s policy of support for on-shore wind energy production.

He said: “In these financially-straightened times, we think it is unwise to make consumers pay, through taxpayer subsidy, for inefficient and intermittent energy production that typifies on-shore wind turbines.

“We also are worried that the new National Planning Policy Framework, in its current form, diminishes the chances of local people defeating unwanted on-shore wind farm proposals through the planning system.”

Environment secretary Ed Davey, promoted after Chris Huhne’s resignation, was dismissive of the revolt.

He said: “I’ve been a life-long supporter of renewables and wind power and I’m not going to change now.

“I think onshore and offshore wind power has a real place in a balanced mix of energy generation.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/07/northamptonshire-mp-leads-bid-against-wind-farm-subsidies/