No subsidies will be paid to operators of new onshore wind turbines under legislation to be included in the Queen’s speech. The legislation, which Rudd is “hopeful” will be law by the middle of next year, will ensure that consent for new wind farms will have to be given by a local council planning authority, which will be duty-bound to consult residents. Under current planning rules, big onshore wind farms(Section 36 applications) are handled by a central government national infrastructure body that can ignore the wishes of local people.
Amanda Rudd, Secretary of State at the DECC
Well we could say that is good news but there is an awful lot of time between now and then for lobbyists, energy companies and the Labour/Lib-Dims in the Lords to scupper the good ship Rudd! What concerns us North of the Border is that Planning is a devolved power so that support for local communities in the Queens Speech will be an irrelevance in Scotland. One could also question the role of Reporters/Planning Inspectors who often over-ride Local Planning objections(in the National Interest). New onshore – does that mean applied for, agreed in planning or built. Is it going to stop those with approval but yet to be constructed or only refer to those not even the apple in the developers eye. Like so much the devil is in the detail.
One area of concern for us in Scotland as we look at these proposals is that, with an almost complete wipe out of non SNP representatives in Westminster, those opposing wind have no representation in the Palace of Westminster.