Towards the end of last year, the Prime Minister set out plans to ‘Build Back Greener’ by making the UK the world leader in clean wind energy.
The focus has been very much on offshore wind. In contrast, onshore projects face obstacles at the planning stage.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) applies in England. Paragraph 154 provides that, when determining planning applications for renewable energy developments, local planning authorities should approve the application if its impacts are (or can be made) acceptable.
However, this is subject to footnote 49, which was inserted following a Written Ministerial Statement in 2015. This amended planning policy in relation to onshore wind in England, and states that:
"Except for applications for the repowering of existing wind turbines, a proposed wind energy development involving one or more turbines 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."
In short, unless the local planning authority has identified an area as suitable for wind turbines in its development plan, the concerns of the local community have been addressed, and the proposal has their backing, planning permission will not be given for onshore wind developments.
In our experience, very few development plans have been addressing the issue. The result is that, with the exception of community projects, onshore wind projects will not get planning permission.
With many councils declaring climate emergencies, maybe change is on the way. Cornwall Council, for example, is currently consulting on its ‘climate emergency’ development plan document, which allocates areas suitable for onshore wind turbines. The plan provides that wind energy development proposals will be permitted if they are in these areas and also:
The potential implications on the migratory flightpaths of birds must also be considered.
With an increasing number of councils declaring climate emergencies, we hope to see more local planning authorities dealing with onshore wind development in their development plans by identifying areas suitable for onshore wind turbines, bringing an end to the effective moratorium that has been in place since the Written Ministerial Statement was made in 2015.
TLT has extensive advice in advising on all aspects of wind projects. If you would like to discuss your requirements, please get in touch.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at March 2021. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.
Contributor: Alexandra Holsgrove Jones
Green light for wide Class E to residential PD rightRead more
Recent Climate Bills in Northern Ireland and the Republic of IrelandRead more
What will green cities look like?Read more
Call for Evidence - Review of the Implementation of the Planning Act...Read more
TLT supports Network Homes with affordable housing acquisitionRead more
Court of Appeal upholds planning refusal for sustainable development...Read more
Permitted development right conversion to dwellinghouses refusedRead more
TLT advises Blackfinch on acquisition of two wind energy sitesRead more
Registration of working quayside as TVG did not criminalise...Read more
Helping you navigate your business through the risks and opportunities that Brexit will bring.Read more
The way people shop is constantly evolving, from the growth of online and the changing use of stores...Read more
The widespread disruption and closure of businesses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent national and local lockdowns has brought into sharp focus the question of available insurance cover for losses under...Read more
Watch our video series for information on the legal issues that are affecting the real estate sector. Each...Read more
The pandemic has had a deep and long-lasting effect on the leisure, food & drink sector, forcing operators to embrace new ways of attracting and servicing customers.Read more
The pandemic has forced the majority of the workforce into a world of remote working. As a result, our cities are evolving.Read more
Our countdown to Brexit and beyond podcast series looks at the impact for businesses on both sides of the pond of any free trade agreement between the UK and Europe and the UK and the US. ThisRead more
There's a growing demand for retailers to do more to attract the Purple Pound – the collective spending power of disabled shoppers, estimated to be worth around £274bn. We look at the opportunities, the legal issues and...Read more
Green finance is gaining speed, driven by global climate change pressures and the recognition of the vital role which sustainability plays in a resilient financial services sector.Read more
Providing a complete planning service with cross sector experience.Read more
We help developers manage the increasing public interest in the availability of land for public recreation, and the impact this can have on new development projects.Read more
We act for all the parties to the compulsory acquisition process, and we have particular experience in compensation claims relating to businesses and business relocations.Read more
We advise property owners and occupiers on how best to deal with an enforcement of the planning system.Read more
We act for any person or business that might have an environmental issue, whether that's a developer buying a site that might be contaminated or a leisure company with noise issues.Read more
We help owners and occupiers with the additional rules and regulations that these properties are subject to; rules that can restrict the way they are used or altered.Read more
We help developers manage the impact of their development on highways and public rights of way.Read more
We are particularly experienced in complicated, multi-party agreements for large scale developments, and understand the relationship between planning obligations and Community Infrastructure Levy.Read more