A Lincolnshire MP has told Parliament he believes onshore wind turbines should not be built closer than 2km to homes in the county.
Nick Boles, who represents Grantham and Stamford, said the structures should not have an “unacceptable impact” on communities.
There is currently no national standard for the distances between turbines and houses. But Mr Boles said he backed Lincolnshire County Council’s guidelines that advise district planning authorities to impose a 2km (1.4-mile) limit.
The Conservative planning minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) was responding to a question by fellow Lincolnshire MP Stephen Phillips on whether a national policy could be adopted.
Mr Boles said: “We have been clear that wind turbines should not have unacceptable impacts on local communities, but we have not set minimum separation distances nationally, because to do so would cut across localism.”
Some political commentators have said the views are the latest sign that DCLG ministers’ attitudes to wind turbines are hardening.
It is a concern for turbine supporters as the department can in some cases veto developments.
Mr Phillips said: “There is considerable support in Lincolnshire and across the country for minimum separation distances, which do a lot to encourage public support for onshore wind and allay people’s concerns.”
Mr Boles explained a national limit would “cut across” the Government’s localism policies, which aim to give communities more power in planning decisions.
“I represent neighbouring constituencies and like him I believe that a minimum separation distance might be appropriate in our flat fenland landscape,” he said.
“That is why, before my appointment as planning minister, I supported Lincolnshire county council’s wind energy position statement and urged my planning authority to reflect it in its local plan.”
Mr Boles, who was speaking on Monday, December 17, is one of several Conservative Lincolnshire MPs who are against wind farms.
Last month Lincoln MP Karl McCartney reaffirmed his stance when he told the House of Commons: “Many of us in Lincolnshire are against wind farms, and obviously the urban area that I represent – Lincoln – will be affected by any turbines that are put up in the rural areas around Lincoln.”
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