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Petitioning Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Honour planning decisions in favour of wind farms where it has been deemed that the benefits of the scheme (both local and wider) outweigh the costs.

830
Supporters

On Wednesday it was revealed that Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government Secretary, denied Ecotricity permission to build a four-wind turbine development in Somerset despite it having been recommended by planning inspectors.

 

He has now appointed himself rejector-in-chief thanks to a Ministerial Statement issued on Wednesday, and is now solely in charge of which onshore wind developments will go ahead for the next 12 months. This latest decision demonstrates that he is not minded to approve any.

 

We contend that this is a self-serving abuse of power designed to appease a vocal minority of local wind farm opponents to the detriment of everyone. 

 

There is only one other wind farm in flood-hit Somerset - a place that has paid more than its fair share of the price of climate disruption.

 

Just four turbines could have produced enough electricity to power 7,000 homes a year and could have saved thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being pumped into the atmosphere.

 

What's more, Mr Pickles is hurting small renewable energy suppliers’ ability to compete with the UK’s big six energy suppliers. Intentionally, or unintentionally, he is taking the side of the energy giants by disenfranchising smaller competitors that have a bigger stake in clean energy. 

 

The onslaught on onshore wind could continue if the Conservatives win the next election, with Grant Shapps, party Chairman, planning to write a ban on onshore turbines into the manifesto.

 

There is overwhelming evidence that onshore wind is one of the cheapest, most efficient sources of energy we have at our disposal. It is much cheaper than offshore wind, which the Conservatives are proposing we switch to instead.

 

Wind energy is now competitive with new coal-fired plants and is cheaper than new nuclear energy, such as the heavily subsidised Hinkley Point C plant - in Somerset.

 

In short, and among other things, Mr Pickles' self-appointed absolute rule over onshore wind planning is a danger to the future of UK clean energy generation and to competition in the energy market.

 

He should not have a role in local approvals. There is more at stake here than Conservative votes.

 

By signing this petition, you can help to put the power back in the right hands: ours.

  

Letter to
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Honour planning decisions in favour of wind farms where it has been deemed that the benefits of the scheme (both local and wider) outweigh the costs.