The UK Government has received a petition with almost 12,000 signatures calling to end the “senseless ban” on onshore wind farms in the UK.
The petition was handed to Rishi Sunak by Sam Richards, a former advisor on energy and environment advisor for the Prime Minister.
Pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade – set up by Richards – organised the petition to urge the reverse of the changes to the planning system introduced by David Cameron in 2015 which requires unanimous backing from local communities for any onshore wind farm plans in England to be approved.
This allows a single person to block the development of an onshore wind farm and has led to only two onshore wind turbines being built in England since 2020.
According to Britain Remade, Ukraine is now building more onshore wind capacity than England despite the war.
A poll commissioned by Britain Remade showed that 67% of people across the country support the installation of new turbines in their local are, with some regions such as the North East having 85% backing.
“This petition shows there is huge support for dropping the senseless ban on onshore wind, and turbocharging the delivery of one of the cheapest forms of energy available to us in England,” said Richards.
“During a cost of living crisis, when energy bills are still eyewatering high for tens of millions of households up and down the country, government should be doing all it can to speed up the delivery of cheap, clean and secure sources of energy, not standing in the way.
“It’s simply mind-boggling that Ukraine, while it fights for its survival, has built more onshore wind capacity than England. Since 2020 just two turbines have been installed generating a paltry 1MW of power in Keele, while Ukraine has just completed first phase of a 500MW project, enough to power over 300,000 homes, less than 62 miles from the front line.
“As part of the campaign I’ve been to towns and cities up and down the country and people simply cannot understand why the cheapest form of energy is banned.
“The Government may be making noises about once again allowing new onshore turbines to be built, but much swifter and bolder action is required. That’s why thousands of people are calling on the Government to drop the ban now.”
The UK Government has already made some moves towards incentivising the development of onshore wind. Following 58% of Conservative voters backing more onshore wind, 11 May saw the government set out proposals for an improved reward scheme for communities living locally to an onshore wind farm.