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Wind of change: UK Government lifts onshore wind ban

The UK Government has announced plans to end the de facto ban on onshore wind in England

The UK Government has announced a major change in energy policy by lifting longstanding restrictions on onshore wind farms in England.

Earlier today, Chancellor Rachel Reeves revealed plans to overhaul the National Planning Policy Framework by the month’s end, effectively ending the unofficial ban on new onshore wind projects.

Dan McGrail, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, welcomed the decision as overdue, highlighting its potential to accelerate clean energy infrastructure development.

Dan McGrail said: “Public support for onshore wind remains sky-high throughout the UK at 78% according to the latest official polling, as billpayers know that new wind farms provide electricity at very low cost, as well as strengthening our energy security and tackling climate change.

“Polling also shows that most people want to see the planning system reformed, as they’re frustrated that an onshore wind farm proposal which is overwhelmingly popular in a local area can be stopped by just a handful of opponents.

“The onshore wind industry is committed to ensuring that communities are properly consulted about any proposals, including the wide range of economic benefits they will bring to local people.

“This process can take several years, including measures which help ensure that wildlife is protected, so it will be some time before brand new projects go ahead in England.”

Responding to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s first speech around planning and economic growth, Energy UK’s Chief Executive Emma Pinchbeck, said: “It’s excellent to see the new government prioritise planning reforms as a key enabler for economic growth and enhancing our energy security.

“Unblocking the planning system, removing the de-facto ban to double onshore wind and ensuring adequate resourcing for planning authorities are crucial steps the industry has long been calling for, and a cross-sector view of infrastructure requirements will be essential for the supply chain and skills development.

“The Chancellor has recognised the urgency of these decisions to meet our energy security and clean energy targets.

“The de-facto ban has significantly reduced the pipeline for onshore wind it will take time for this to recover.

“However, analysis shows that the quicker we build clean energy infrastructure in the UK, the more private sector investment we can unlock, freeing up the public purse, with huge benefits the economy.”

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