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End of hated wind farms that ruin our countryside amid growing backlash over green energy  

Credit:  By: Macer Hall | Published: Thu, June 6, 2013 | www.express.co.uk ~~

Ministers will call a halt today to the spread of wind farms across the countryside amid a growing public backlash over green energy.

Local residents will be given far greater powers to block planning approval for wind turbines.

The new measures ensure that local views will always take precedence over concerns about the global environment.

David Cameron is understood to have intervened in a bitter row between Tory and Lib Dem ministers to confirm that anti-wind farm campaigners are not overruled by the environmental lobby.

One senior Tory source said: “This is effectively the end of on-shore wind farming in Britain. The Prime Minister understands why many people do not want wind farms on their doorstep; they are often noisy, unsightly and can push down house prices.”

The Government is acting after a growing number of opponents rubbished wind farms as costly, ugly and unrel­iable at delivering energy.

Wind farms sometimes dominate the landscape

Wind farms sometimes dominate the landscape

Eric Pickles’s Department for Communities and Local Government will announce that planning laws are to be amended so that “consultation with local communities” is compulsory before wind farm developers can even ­formally apply for planning permission

It means local authorities will get powers to block possible developments early in the planning process.

They will be told planning decisions must “properly reflect the increasing impact on the landscape and local amenity” as well as taking into account the “cumulative impact” of increasing numbers of wind turbines.

In a sop to supporters of wind farms, today’s announcement will include a “five-fold increase” in cash paid into community benefit schemes if locals agree to the siting of a wind farm near their homes.

Downing Street officials believe there has been “too great an emphasis on the ­global benefits of renewable energy over local considerations like landscape, heritage and local amenity”.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “We are putting local people at the heart of decision-making on onshore wind. We are changing the ­balance to ensure they are consulted earlier.

“When new turbines are agreed, we will ensure they are developed in a way that benefits the local community, such as through cheaper energy bills.”

Mr Pickles said: “We want to give local communities a greater say on planning, to give greater weight to the ­protection of landscape, ­heritage and local amenity.”

Tory MP Chris Heaton-­Harris, a leading campaigner against wind farms, said: “My hope is that we will get some sensible planning guidance that says local views will trump environmental policy.”

Today’s measures will be seen as a setback for Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, who is known to have clashed with Tory ministers over the issue.

The move is regarded as the latest salvo in a growing turf war between the Tories and Lib Dems in the Coal­ition.

In an apparent tit-for-tat response, Nick Clegg wrecked Tory plans for encouraging more nursery care for children by cutting regulations.

The Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister wrote to Liz Truss, the Tory childcare minister, yesterday to tell her that he was blocking the project.

Under her plans, nurseries would have been allowed to provide more places for ­children per head of staff.

Mr Clegg said: “I cannot ask parents to accept such a controversial change with no real guarantee it will save them money – in fact it could cost them more.”

Source:  By: Macer Hall | Published: Thu, June 6, 2013 | www.express.co.uk

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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