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Wind farms only opposed by 10 per cent of people, Government claims

Ministers have claimed that only one in ten people are opposed to onshore wind farms.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published its “public attitudes tracker” survey which shows that a total of 68 per cent of people now support onshore wind, with just 11 per cent opposed.

The poll found that 76 per cent of people support offshore wind, with just 7 per cent opposed.

Overall, the poll found that support for renewable energy sources to provide the UK’s electricity, fuel and heat has hit 82 per cent.

Some previous polling has indicated a larger opposition to wind farms generally.

In 2012 a survey by pollsters YouGov showed that 58 per cent of people supported wind farms, with 18 per cent saying they were against them.

Earlier this month dozens of MPs vowed to oppose every application from wind farm developers in the constituencies.

The MPs, many of whom have until now only opposed particular proposals, believe their intervention will make it more difficult for planning permission to be given.

In a fresh protest against the Government’s support for onshore wind turbines, backbenchers said their constituencies had reached “tipping point” and would be ruined by further development.

They are sharing advice on running local campaigns against wind farms after the Tory head of a larger cross party group of MPs opposed to the spread of onshore wind distributed a manual on how to fight proposals by developers.

Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative MP who is leading an informal cross party group opposing the spread of onshore wind farms said “dozens” of MPs were now formally registering objections to all wind farms proposed in their constituencies.

James Bethell, Director of Westbourne Communications, said: “What I’ve found from talking to the public is the thing that causes their strong negative feeling is… that long-term damage is being done to the visual environment for a frivolous, uneconomic reason.

“It’s the imposition of unnecessary wind farms in a lost or frivolous cause that engenders the most passionate opposition.”

Elsewhere in the DECC survey, the results showed the difficulties the Government faces in its attempts to establish electric vehicles as a genuine alternative to petrol-driven cars.

Only 4 per cent of respondents said that they have or are thinking about buying an electric car or van.

Of those surveyed, 53 per cent said they “haven’t really thought about buying an electric car or van”.