Wind Farms: Welsh ministers must follow UK example

Welsh Conservatives have welcomed UK Government changes to wind farm planning and called on Welsh Ministers to follow suit and urgently clarify their position.


Planning guidance in England will be changed to ensure local opposition can override national energy targets. The measures will also see a five-fold rise in the benefits paid by developers to communities hosting wind farms.


The Shadow Minister for Environment, Russell George AM, met with former Energy Minister John Hayes MP in March, and asked him to explore new mechanisms to ensure the views of local planning authorities and local communities were given greater material weight in the planning decision process.


Mr George said:


“UK ministers are clearly listening to the concerns of communities who feel under siege from onshore wind farms and I urge Welsh ministers to do the same.


“The ball is now firmly in the court of Carwyn Jones’ government.


“The First Minister must spell out what he intends to do to enable local planning authorities to take local views into account on developments under 50MW.


“If communities are united in opposition against wind farm developments, it stands to reason that their views should be fully respected by planning inspectors and ministers.”