MP launches probe into wind turbine planning guidance
Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, has launched a parliamentary probe into the impact that the Planning Practice Guidance for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy has had on planning applications for wind turbines.
The MP has tabled the series of Parliamentary Questions in response to concerns from constituents that the new guidance has had too little impact on the number of applications being appealed and the amount being overturned by the Inspectorate since its release.
With this in mind, he is asking the Secretary of State to make an urgent assessment of the impact the guidelines have had to date, regarding both the number of wind turbine application appeals sent to the Inspectorate, and the number of refusals overturned by the Inspectorate citing the guidance.
Geoffrey has also asked the Secretary of State to clarify and strengthen further the existing guidance in relation to how the cumulative landscape and visual impacts from turbines are assessed.
He said: “These turbines dominate the countryside for miles around permanently altering and industrialising its appearance. Local communities have felt powerless to say no to these developments and although it was hoped that the new guidance would go some way to addressing this, it appears that this has not been sufficiently the case.
“I am therefore asking the Secretary of State to look into this matter again, to clarify the impact the existing guidance has had, and to make the necessary amendments to this guidance in order to allow our unique landscape to be protected and to give communities a greater say over the decision making.”
(from a press release)