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MP’s plan to tackle wind farm developers

An MP who regularly referees football matches has unveiled a plan to show wind farm developers the red card.

Conservative Chris Heaton-Harris, who claims to have been the first person to send off former England player Sol Campbell, is leading 106 MPs, including 101 Tories, in a bid to get the Government to rethink its energy policies.

He said if his proposals to dramatically reduce subsidies given to wind farms and change guidelines given to planning inspectors are accepted by the Prime Minister, it would result in many of the proposed 125m turbines in North Yorkshire “disappearing”.

Mr Heaton-Smith has issued the call to David Cameron, as residents of more than a dozen villages near Northallerton, Leyburn, Ripon, Pateley Bridge and Harrogate say the uncertainty surrounding planned turbines is causing them stress and could be preventing house sales.

At a meeting with around 80 campaigners and council decision-makers in Wath, North Yorkshire, the Daventry MP joined his Ripon counterpart Julian Smith in stating the wave of planned wind farms in the county was one of the principle issues affecting dozens of villages.

Responding to a claim by Ripon councillor Alan Skidmore that it was “obscene” that wind farm firms were getting paid not to produce energy when the National Grid had sufficient supplies, Mr Heaton-Harris said he was set to discuss the issue with Chancellor George Osborne.

The Daventry MP, who solved the England football team’s Poppy logo crisis in November when he came up with a solution to wear the Remembrance symbols on armbands, said more weight should be given to landscape and heritage issues when deciding applications.

He added some areas being investigated by wind farm developers, such as Wensleydale, would benefit from a move to speed up Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty applications.