Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that 48% of wind farm applications were rejected last year, up from 29% six years ago.
Jacqueline Harris, a Partner at McGrigors, said that the planning system is too heavily weighted to local interests: “The feeling is that local authorities are too often prioritising local concerns. For instance, objections based around the visual impact of wind turbines are overriding the wider need to deliver energy security and mitigate the impact of climate change.”
Under European climate change targets, around a third of Britain’s electricity will have to be generated by renewable energy sources by 2020. Most of this power will have to come from thousands of wind turbines at sea and on land. According to law firm McGrigors, 32 out of 66 applications for onshore wind farms were rejected in 2010.
Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said he was sceptical of the Government’s climate change policy. Speaking in the Daily Mail he said: “The public backlash against wind farms is not surprising. It is the inevitable and inexorable consequence of a costly, unpopular and completely pointless policy that is butchering Britain’s green and pleasant landscape without having any effect on the climate. These green projects are only viable because of multi-million subsidies supporting a few hundred wealthy landowners and a handful of energy companies.”