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15th Oct 2012

CPRE South Yorkshire’s policy is to support wind turbines in appropriate locations and fight those where the landscape would be seriously compromised.

In west Barnsley, on the edges of the National Park between Penistone and Holmfirth, there is now a distracting plethora of wind farms – a real ‘dog’s breakfast’ in planning terms. This was our message to a recent Scrutiny Commission, held by Barnsley councillors, who are equally concerned at the creeping impact of wind farms on the borough and its attractive countryside.

Nationally, CPRE has just published a report on the failure to plan wind farms strategically, with many local communities feeling helpless to intervene in a planning system where local authority decisions are often overturned by Government planning inspectors.

Instead we advocate local councils adopt a landscape capacity approach so that areas with high landscape sensitivity can be avoided. If this is adopted in new Local Plan policies, it will be given more weight by inspectors at planning inquiries.

Saving energy and investing in a bigger mix of renewable energy technologies (including hydro and solar power, and biofuel) is a key part of meeting essential climate change targets. In addition, offshore wind has the potential to contribute more but this must not be at the expense of our heritage coasts and seascapes.