Commenting on the announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of a review of the costs of onshore wind and community engagement and benefits, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has cautioned against taking a simplistic view which would undermine the planning system.
Tom Leveridge, Senior Energy Campaigner for CPRE, says: “We’re pleased the Government is looking at this issue and we hope it is a recognition that you can’t simply ride roughshod over legitimate community concerns about the landscape impact of onshore wind turbines.
“A genuine attempt to promote community engagement in the design, location and layout of wind farms should lead to a more sensitive approach to reducing the impact wind turbines can have on our beautiful landscapes.
“We must make sure that this does not promote simplistic notions of ‘sharing benefits’ that amount to little more then paying off communities to secure planning permission. This would fundamentally undermine a core principle of the planning system – that planning permission should not be bought or sold – and put the countryside at greater risk from poorly sited wind developments.”
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