Steve Cirell: The National Planning Policy Framework contains provisions whereby planning should support renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure. Local Development Plans should provide strategies and identify sites. Community led schemes should be supported and for decision making purposes, there is no longer any need to demonstrate the overall need for renewable or low carbon energy. The problem arises in the provision known as ‘Footnote 49’. This states that: “ a proposed wind energy development…. should not be considered acceptable unless it is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy development in the Development Plan; and, following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by the affected local community have been fully addressed and the proposal has their backing.” This is indeed a high bar and one not faced by other renewable energy technologies. Firstly, there has to be a Development Plan in operation that has specifically identified onshore wind as suitable in a particular area. Secondly, the planning impacts have to be fully addressed; and finally, the community is in support.
Current 4th June 2020 read more »