The Government streamlined planning rules and broadened the ways that suitable locations can be identified yesterday after pressure from backbench Tory MPs.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “To increase our energy security and develop a cleaner, greener economy, we are introducing new measures to allow local communities to back onshore wind power projects.”
It will only apply in areas where developments have community support but will build on our “enormous success” as a global leader in offshore wind and will help on our journey to Net Zero.
Sir Alok Sharma, the former COP26 president, led Tory backbench pressure over the issue and wanted to see rules allowing a single objection to block development be changed.
The measures will take immediate effect and will lead councils to consider views from the whole community when considering a planning application.
Communities can therefore apply to their local council to have onshore wind built, but the final decision is still made by councillors.
MP Sir John Hayes expressed concern about any move to overturn the de facto ban on onshore wind farms that would see turbines “imposed” on local areas.
He said: “I would object to wind turbines being imposed on communities and I don’t look forward to a watering down of the rules.”
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