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UK Government ends ‘absurd’ restrictions on onshore windfarms

Written by Wed 10 Jul 2024

The UK Government has ended the de facto ban in England on onshore windfarms in a bid to save money on energy bills, support high-skilled jobs, and tackle the climate crisis.

In her first speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves called the ban ‘absurd’.

“We will also go further and consult on bringing onshore wind back into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime, meaning decisions on large developments will be taken nationally not locally,” said Chancellor Rachel Reeves.

In the policy statement on onshore wind, the Government said the ban stemmed from two footnotes in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which governs infrastructure and home construction. 

Footnotes 57 and 58 stipulated that onshore wind development is only acceptable in areas designated in a development plan or approved through Local Development Orders, Neighbourhood Development Orders, and Community Right to Build Orders.

This set a higher bar than for other types of development, as any opposition, except in cases with demonstrated community support, often rendered a proposal unacceptable.

“The removal of these tests from planning policy means that onshore wind applications will be treated in the same way as other energy development proposals,” said the Government.

Labour’s new draft of the NPPF has cut these footnotes taking immediate effect and confirmed to parliament on 18 July when Commons resumes.

In March, the UK Government announced eight projects will receive a portion of £1.73 million ($2.2 million) to develop and scale up artificial intelligence (AI) technology to support the nation’s green transition.

The funding is split across different pots to address decarbonisation challenges in 3 sectors, including the generation, demand, transmission, and distribution of electricity; transport for decarbonisation; and land use for renewables generation.

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Written by Wed 10 Jul 2024

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