The ban on onshore wind has NOT been lifted

There’s unlikely to be any extra windfarms approved in England as a result of the recent changes announced by the Government.

Despite headlines to the contrary, the ban on onshore wind turbines has not been removed. All that has happened is that a few words have been changed in the planning guidance that mean much the same as before.

This post has been republished from David Toke’s blog on substack. To see his latest posts and to subscribe to his blog, go to substack here

All that is needed to lift the planning ban is for the rules introduced in 2015 on onshore wind to be lifted. Simple. Then onshore wind would have the same planning rights as other developments. However that has not happened. Not at all!

Two rules introduced in 2015 effectively ban English onshore wind. First, windfarms can only be allowed if they are in areas designated by the local planning authority. Second the windfarm proposers have to address ‘the planning impacts identified by the affected local community’….’and the proposal has community support’.

Rebecca Windemer has analysed local authority plans and concluded that around 4 fifths of local authorities have not designated areas for windfarms. Therefore wind power is effectively banned in 80 per cent of local authorities on this count alone, and even then they still have to convince any campaign of objection that they have satisfied their concerns about impacts. In other words, wind turbines are still banned in England!

Robert Norris, the Head of Communications for RenewableUK told me that ‘The “new wording” in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has actually barely changed’.

The UK is falling well behind other countries in deploying wind and solar power, with only a small fraction of the world average capacity deployed in recent years. This decision seems unlikely to do anything to improve this situation. In effect, all the so-called Tory pro-wind rebels seem to have achieved in the recent arguments about amendments to the Energy Bill is a brief piece of empty PR for the Government.

by David Toke NOTE: this post has been republished from David Toke’s blog on substack. To subscribe to Dave Toke’s Green Energy Blog. To see his latest posts and to subscribe to his blog, go to

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