It is no longer “environmentally friendly” to have “giant” turbines in the countryside, a Conservative minister has said, as he indicated that the Tories will pledge to curb onshore wind power in their manifesto.
Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party Chairman, said that the Conservatives want to focus on offshore wind and that they are completely opposed to Liberal Democrat plans to have onshore turbines “all over the place”.
The Daily Telegraph earlier this month disclosed that the Conservatives will use their manifesto to set out plans to “rid” the English countryside of onshore wind farms.
The Tories could pledge to impose a cap on the total number of turbines or reduce subsidies in order to make them financially unviable, it is understood.
Asked whether the Tories will make a manifesto commitment to curb wind farms, Mr Shapps said: “The wind is moving in a clear direction here.”
Mr Shapps said: “The Conservatives feel wind farms have a place – and it is offshore, by and large. Lib Dems love them, everywhere, and in as many locations as possible.
“Presumably all over the South West if they can pull it off. They’ll somehow think it’s environmentally friendly to have the giant pylons all over the place. So that’s an area of real differentiation.”
He added: “I think wind power’s great. But we have the best coastline for wind because of the geography of the country of any country in the world for the prospect of wind.
“And, actually, they work better off in the sea as well because it’s windier, so they don’t have to blight the landscape and upset everybody at the same time. The direction of wind travel is clear, without wanting to pre-empt our manifesto.”
A senior source close to the Prime Minister earlier this month said that Mr Cameron is now “of one mind” with the Government’s most vociferous opponents of “unsightly” onshore wind turbines.
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