Directives Bode Well for UK Wind Energy

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), the largest renewable energy association in the UK, warmly welcomed the government’s new Planning Policy Statement on renewable energy (PPS22) (Consultation Draft) published recently by the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

London, England – November 6, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The organization said that a clear and positive PPS22 in line with Government Energy Policy is long overdue, with wind energy developers facing a lottery of inconsistent planning decisions across England. PPG22, the original national Planning Policy Document published in 1992, served well for its time, but as technology, Government Energy Policy and the wind industry advances in leaps and bounds, the national planning policy has lagged behind, said BWEA. “Today provides both the planning profession and the wind industry with a more sound footing from which to move forward in meeting the Government’s renewable energy targets currently set at 10 percent by 2010,” said BWEA. The national Planning Policy Statement will now inform regional, county and local planning authorities of the need for dedicated planning policies for renewable energy, as is the case with other forms of development. Developers can then work to the assessment criteria while planners and Councilors can make more informed decisions. The Association firmly believes that the new statement will provide a valuable resource to planners and Counselors at local and regional level to help formulate policy in driving forward the development of wind energy in England. The guidance should also help address the present inconsistencies in the planning system that sees big differences in how applications are determined around England. “The new statement clearly sets out the national policy framework that puts renewables center stage in achieving our objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change,” said BWEA. BWEA will next year be undertaking a series of regional workshops designed for Counselors and planning officials. The workshops will include a visit to a working wind farm to experience the reality of the technology, and host a range of high ranking speakers to explain in more detail the planning issues surrounding wind farm applications, especially in the light of the new planning statement issued today. The first of these events was held one month ago in Hull, where some 200 Councillors and officials were in attendance. “We believe PPS22 will act as a positive shot in the arm for our industry, and provide local planning authorities with a valuable steer from which to formulate policy and make more informed decisions,” Chris Tomlinson, Head of Onshore Wind at BWEA said. “Together, we can drive forward the development of wind energy throughout England.”

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