The winds of change are blowing. The Government’s effective ban on onshore windfarms in England introduced in 2015 appears to be relaxing in a bid to help build “a cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy system”.
Having pledged to “halt the spread” through strict requirements for proposed developments to comply with local authority designations and to receive full local community backing, planning policy changes are being made that permit additional avenues for the identification of suitable onshore windfarm sites.
Member of the Solomons North West team, Cameron Field focused on the contentious issue in his recent MSc dissertation with the University College of Estate Management.
He says: “Last week’s announcement may be appreciably celebrated as win for critics of the Government’s prevailing stance on onshore wind. However, the devil is always in the detail. And it is that detail which has already led many to highlight their reservations about what these changes will actually mean in practice.
“In particular, the retention of rather ambiguous wording in the updated planning policy regarding the requirement for proposals to demonstrate the receival of local community support stands out to me as a likely source of continued difficulty for developers. It appears, at this present time at least, few are expecting a dramatic change in direction for onshore wind and reading between the lines I’d be inclined to agree.
“For those interested in delving deeper, I’d wholeheartedly recommend this easy to digest briefing.
Solomons has a strong pedigree in supporting the renewable energy sector. Click here to discover more about our work on this area.