UK planning law amended to help wind

UK: Several amendments have been made to planning legislation affecting England and Wales following fears the rules could severely impact onshore wind.

The UK Localism Act, which made it onto the statute book on Tuesday, aims to devolve more decision making to a local level.

The original draft contained proposals enabling councils to hold a referendum on applications such as wind farms if at least 5% of the electorate signed a petition. This has now been removed.

The act also allows for development plans to be drawn up at a neighbourhood level. A minimum of 21 people who live or work in the area will be involved in drawing these up.

The original bill said that only three people would be involved and they did not necessarily have to live in the same area.

Trade body Renewable UK said that the act was a great improvement on the initial bill but that it was still lobbying the government on certain issues.