Driven by escalating consumer energy prices, an ever-improving public attitude, and greater familiarity around climate change and energy security, the appetite for onshore wind turbines in England has grown, with encouraging demand for more and more sites to be brought forward for development over the next few years. But securing planning approval for your wind turbine ambitions requires an experienced and skilled professional, capable of navigating an often tricky path to secure success.
Last year, the government launched a consultation on possible reforms to the planning system, which aim to make it easier for onshore wind projects to achieve approval at a local level. However, while any changes to national planning policy must be welcomed if we are to deliver more of the type of wind turbine schemes needed to power the green energy revolution, more must be done to remove planning restrictions for individual turbines and ease the process.
With businesses across England tackling high energy bill, the time is right for a policy rethink. And with no abatement in rising electricity and gas prices on the horizon, there’s never been a more apt time to rethink current policies towards energy generation in this country if we are to sustain wind turbine growth and development.
In England, under current policy, new wind farms can be granted planning permission if they meet two criteria:
· The turbines must be located in an area that has been identified as suitable for wind energy in a local or neighbourhood plan.
· It must be demonstrated that “…the planning impacts identified by the affected local community have been fully addressed and the proposal has their backing”.
This places the onus on having a competent and experienced hand on the planning tiller if success is to be achieved and projects delivered on time. It’s also why a leading sports shoe manufacturer chooses to use Hedley Planning Services. We are currently acting on their behalf to secure approval for the erection of 1MW Wind Turbine (75m Tip Height) on land at their North West factory, in a move that will contribute to delivering the site’s future energy needs. Indeed, the business is one of an increasing number of environmentally savvy global organisations that take their climate responsibilities very seriously – they are committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 across their global operations.
Properly designed renewable energy projects can provide enough to significantly contribute to helping UK business meet its insatiable energy needs and reduce its long-term reliance on fossil fuels. There’s no doubt in my view that reaping the wind in the way our client proposes is an efficient way to supply clean energy and contribute significantly towards the greener energy solutions we will all want to see in the future.