Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan has today called on Rutland County Council to seize on wind farm planning changes to reject the Woolfox Wind Farm application, and welcomed the news that the subsidy regime for turbines is to be withdrawn a year earlier than planned.
In a written statement to the House of Commons on June 18, Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark confirmed that all planning applications for wind farms should only be approved if the site is identified as suitable for wind energy development in a Local or Neighbourhood Plan and the proposal has the backing of the local community.
Additionally, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed in Parliament on June 21, that new subsidies for onshore wind are to be ended from April 2016 – a year earlier than planned. These two changes will mean that any new application cannot expect to receive public subsidy, nor expect to go ahead without the backing of local people.
Mr Duncan said: ‘I hope this spells the end for the Woolfox Wind Farm. We have always known it has absolutely no public support, but now it will have no access to public subsidy either. I have asked the Council to confirm the detailed impact of these changes, but hope this will be a spur to them to say ‘No’ to Woolfox and that this proposal will never go ahead.’
Mr Duncan also spoke in the House of Commons during the Energy Secretary’s statement on Monday to ask her to consider making it compulsory for all wind farm applicants to have to fly a blimp balloon at the height of any proposed turbine to demonstrate its true visual impact.
We had not been able to contact anyone at Woolfox applicants RES for a comment at the time of going to press.