Planning to make the most of renewables | @guardianletters

Polly Toynbees suggestion that the government is overriding local planning on onshore wind farms is misleading (Opinion, 28 October). Her attack on ministerial decisions failed to mention that these were on recovered planning appeals: cases where the elected local council had refused or not approved the original application. The assault on localism she infers has been coming from the wind-farm developers seeking to overturn that local refusal by the council.

All planning appeals are considered with due process and a fair hearing in light of planning policy and the local circumstances. However, there has been real public concern that inappropriately sited onshore wind turbines have been a blot on the landscape, harming the local environment and damaging heritage for miles around. Hence, in July 2013, the coalition government, with collective agreement from both Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers, openly changed national planning guidance to ensure that proper weight should be given to the protection of Englands valuable landscape and heritage, and we have sought to ensure planning appeals decisions properly reflect that guidance. For that, we make no apology and Ministers are happy to be held to account to parliament and the public.

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