Onshore wind: why are England’s local councils blocking progress?

Planning approval rates are at an all-time low, and the only reasonable explanation is that local councils judge wind energy unfairly

The majority want a future in which the UK generates energy, while not causing irreversible climate change or being at the mercy of global fossil fuel markets. (A Department of Energy and Climate Change survey pointed to 67% public approval rates for onshore wind power in the UK). The media’s spotlight shines upon the fracking fields, yet a bureaucratic battle rages in archaic local council quarters – denying us one of the cheapest renewable energy sources.

Each country in the UK has its own planning system. In England, local planning authorities decide whether development plans live or die. Decisions on controversial proposals such as wind often fall to elected councillors on planning committees. So far, only 46% of wind projects representing generating capacity of 3.7GW out of potential 8.1GW, have received permission.

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