The first criterion in the Government's new onshore wind guidance is that turbines must be sited in areas "identified as suitable for wind energy in a local or neighbourhood plan."
Michael Wilks, POS NSIP Subject Specialist, suggested to Planning that one approach for councils could be to say wind development will be acceptable across the whole district, subject to specified criteria. "Perhaps it may be more straightforward to opt in as a whole than rule areas out," he said.
However, the guidance is clear that formally adopted allocations are required.
"This is putting the ball in the hands of the courts," said Philip Ridley, the POS Natural Resources Subject Specialist. The question of whether council policies or government guidance would be given more weight at appeal would be a key issue, he added. He suspects that polices pre-dating the guidance would be likley to be given less weight.
Michael Wilks Philip Ridley