Charles Hendry brushed off criticism onshore wind farms could be built too close to British homes this week – after a pointed written question from MP Chris Heaton-Harris in Parliament.
The MP is at the helm of an anti-wind campaign, organising a letter to the Prime Minister opposing wind farms which was signed by more than 100 MPs.
There are no statutory limits in the UK for how far a turbine must be from housing, although noise limits suggest a minimum separation distance of 350 metres for a typical wind turbine. Scotland has guidance suggesting 2km and Wales suggests 500m between a wind turbine and housing.
Mr Heaton-Harris initially wrote to ask the Communities and Local Government Secretary if he would consider the French National Academy of Medicine’s recommendation that the minimum distance between turbines and domestic dwellings should be at least 1.5 km.
Picking up the task of answering instead on behalf of DECC, the Energy Minister replied: “The Government continues to monitor how various renewable energy issues are tackled in other countries, including the process for consenting Onshore wind-turbine development and to keep abreast of relevant research.”
The Government has rejected the idea of a separation distance for England although two Private Member’s Ten Minute Rule Bills have suggested such a move.