Onshore Wind Farms: New UK Government Lifts Ban

an onshore wind farm, with turbines spinning at the top of a hill, fields in front and clouds in the sky above

The de facto ban on onshore wind farms has been scrapped as part of a range of planning reforms unveiled by Chancellor Rachel Reeves to boost growth.

Green campaigners and the energy sector have welcomed the move, which reverses measures brought in for England by the Conservatives in 2015 under David Cameron.

Onshore wind was treated differently from other developments under the rules, which stopped schemes going ahead if there were any objections.

The Policy Statement on onshore wind was updated on 8th July 2024 to remove footnote 58 of the NPPF, which included a presumption against wind energy development.

The energy industry says onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of new power, can be built quickly and reduces dependence on expensive gas, contributing to efforts to cut climate emissions.

The policy has therefore presented a significant obstacle to securing consents for wind energy development, which has had consequential implications for encouraging and delivering on ambitions to deliver clean energy and Net Zero by 2030.

On learning of the changes, EP’s Peter Gillan commented:

“These changes are hopefully a signal of intent from the new Government that they are committed to delivering on their manifesto pledges to deliver the much-needed energy and other infrastructure required to facilitate the sustainable development and growth that is needed to tackle the housing crisis, climate emergency, economic uncertainty and energy security risks – changes that have long been called for by those in the industry.”

Reversing the de facto ban will not result in a sudden increase in wind energy development being brought forward – it will take time for the industry to react to the policy change, and any proposals will need to be the subject of extensive and appropriate consultation with key stakeholders.

At EP, we have considerable experience in securing planning permission for energy infrastructure, ranging from domestic-scale infrastructure through to major development.

Contact us to discuss how our team of chartered town planners can support your development ambitions.

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