A new onshore wind turbine has been switched on at AWGroup's Checkley Wood site near Leighton Buzzard. The onshore turbine - the first to be commissioned and installed since the Government announced a series of changes to the UK’s planning system to loosen restrictions on onshore wind – is capable of producing enough to power over 2,500 homes.
Since 2015, planning guidance has caused an effective moratorium on approval of new projects, and P4P Peers have made a sustained case to lift the de facto ban on onshore wind over recent years. Peers welcomed the changes announced by Government for onshore wind last autumn, but raised concerns it might not be enough to level the playing field.
Peers proposed an amendment to the Levelling-up Bill last year to reinstate the (pre-2015 moratorium) basis for onshore wind applications. Although this was overturned by the Government, Peers secured assurances that the effectiveness of the changes to policy guidance for onshore wind would be kept under scrutiny and the Government will report on this within 18 months from Royal Assent.
Whilst the switch on of a second onshore wind turbine in England in the last 12 months is welcome news, Peers will continue to ensure the changes announced by Government last year will be enough to unlock the pipeline for this vital part of our future energy mix.
This development is covered in BusinessGreen and welcomed by P4P Chair Baroness Hayman in the article.