The renewable energy industry has welcomed new planning guidance designed that are made to help local authorities weigh up the need for renewable energy projects against other environmental concerns in the United Kingdom. The Department for Communities and Local Government issued a new planning guidance which stressed that the need for renewable energy “does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities”.This guidance is designed to help officials interpret the National Planning Policy Framework which encouraged the development of renewable energy projects to meet a national target of 15 per cent of the UK’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. Announcing the new guidelines today, Communities Minister Baroness Hanham said some communities have “genuine concerns” that planning officers are failing to give enough importance to local environmental considerations like the impact on landscape and heritage . This guidance was welcomed by trade association RenewableUK, which noted that the new plan would not only provide greater policy certainty for developers but would also block proposed “buffer zones” around properties. Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of the trade association RenewableUK, said that the guidance highlights the need to balance a range of environmental concerns when planning a new development.”Following a long debate about onshore wind costs and benefits, we trust that this period of uncertainty for the industry is now at an end, and that we will see planning policy and guidance producing robust, objective planning decisions” he said. However there are some people who are not as content about the guidance. The Friends of the Earth’s campaign was upset at how late these changes had been implemented and argued that even with these new proposed changes the UK will not be able to reach its goal reduction of carbon emissions on time.
Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources