Not-so-windy wind farms

I am receiving plenty of e-mails about wind farms, as I am one of 105 MPs from the four largest political parties who have written to the Prime Minister urging a reduction in the amount of subsidy given to onshore wind and better provision for local opinion in the planning process. One resident has asked me if I have abandoned my longstanding support for alternative sources of energy and energy efficiency. The answer is that I continue to support diversity of supply and energy efficiency, but I do think that many on-shore wind proposals are ill-judged.
Not only is onshore wind production often inefficient and intermittent, it also increases the price of energy bills to every home and business in my constituency. It is sad to see these great industrial structures – often stationary or barely moving – blighting the landscape and costing us all a fortune.
Locally, we have had a number of battles to save our special countryside and I do believe we need a change of attitude at national level. I am keen to see the amount of money available in subsidy for onshore wind reduced and this saving spread across other renewable energy types and also spent on local energy efficiency measures.
It is also important that the new planning regime the Government is introducing ensures that local peoples’ views are taken fully into account and that the system recognises the importance of the beautiful countryside and heritage assets we have.
The joint letter also asks for amendments to be made to the National Planning Policy Framework to help protect the rural landscape and heritage sites across the country.
It also asks for the Planning Inspectorate to be told that these factors, as well as the views of local residents, to been given more weight in their decisions to counter-balance recent decisions which have given more weight to regional, national and European renewable energy targets.
I hope we receive a favourable response.

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