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MPs demand cut in cash support to wind farms  

Credit:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 9 February 2012 ~~

Workington MP Tony Cunningham is among more than 100 cross-party MPs who have demanded that the £400 million-a-year subsidies paid to the “inefficient” onshore wind turbine industry be cut.

The MPs are demanding action from the government, including more influence for local people to stop wind farms being built.

Labour’s Mr Cunningham said: “I think the majority of my constituents share my view. I have long been opposed to onshore. The most recent planning application was rejected on the grounds that there were too many already in the area.

“This is the point I have been making for some time. There are too many wind farms on land.”

Carlisle Conservative MP John Stevenson and Penrith and the Border Conservative MP Rory Stewart are also part of the cross-party group.

In December, planning inspector David Rose turned down an appeal by Peel Energy for three turbines at the former Broughton Lodge opencast coal mine.

Cumbria County Council leader Eddie Martin wrote to the government last summer asking it to stop imposing wind farms on the county or to force developers to pay compensation to the communities that he claimed they blighted.

His letter said: “Despite the palliative rhetoric and occasional panaceas, central government is simply not listening. That is profoundly depressing and fundamentally undemocratic.”

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “We need a low-carbon infrastructure and onshore wind is a cost-effective and valuable part of the UK’s diverse energy mix.

“The Government has commissioned a review of subsidy levels and we are proposing a cut for onshore wind subsidies to take into account the fact that costs are coming down.

“We are committed to giving communities the power to shape the spaces in which they live and are getting rid of regional targets introduced by the last government.

“The draft framework also aims to strengthen local decision-making and reinforce the importance of local plans.”

Source:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 9 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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