Press release

Giving local people the final say over onshore wind farms

Local residents must have the final say over whether onshore wind farm applications get the go-ahead in their area.

wind turbines

Local residents must have the final say over whether onshore wind farm applications get the go-ahead in their area, Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced.

While onshore wind now makes a meaningful contribution to our energy mix, they are often imposed upon communities without consultation or public support.

From today new planning rules change that and mean wind turbines should only get the go-ahead if they have been clearly backed by local people in a Local or Neighbourhood Plan.

Any application to build wind turbines will then need to have the clear backing of the community – with any planning concerns clearly addressed.

Power in the hands of local people

Radical reforms to the planning system have put power in the hands of local people, enabling them to have a greater say in the future development of their local area through Local and Neighbourhood Plans.

Today’s planning rules mean that when considering a planning application for wind turbines in their area, councils should only grant permission if:

  • the site is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy as part of a Local or Neighbourhood Plan; and

  • following consultation, the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have been fully addressed and therefore has their backing

This second test will ensure the planning concerns of local communities are addressed – even if they give their backing for wind farms in their area through the Local or Neighbourhood Plan.

If a planning application has already been made for wind turbines in an area where the local plan does not identify suitable sites, the council will only be able to approve the application where it addresses the planning concerns of the affected community and therefore has local backing.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark said:

Our One Nation approach is about backing people on the issues that really matter to them and we are today delivering on our manifesto commitment to give local people the final say over onshore wind farm applications.

Further information

Details of the new planning changes have been outlined in a Written Statement to Parliament.

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Published 18 June 2015