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Onshore wind set for revival as backbench pressure weighs on government

Former Liz Truss cabinet member Simon Clarke tabled an amendment last week to the Levelling Up Bill to allow new onshore wind projects in England.

The amendment has gained the support of around 30 MPs including former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Truss, and reportedly has the backing of serving frontbencher Michael Gove.

It has also been supported by the Labour Party, which have vowed to remove planning restrictions for onshore wind if they come to power.

Clarke told City A.M the amendment would boost the UK’s supply security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and help the country meet its climate goals.

He said: “Onshore wind is popular with the public, cuts energy bills and reduces carbon emissions. Whitehall shouldn’t be a blockage on cheap, clean energy, but enable it where there is community support.

“There is support for lifting the ban on onshore wind from all parts of the Conservative parliamentary party. It goes with the grain of government policy, supporting our energy security and net zero strategies.”

Commenting on the proposal, fellow Tory MP Richard Graham added: “Current rules mean just one or two objections are an effective veto. So that’s why I support this small, cost-free and useful amendment to allow more of this clean and popular source of power – where local consent is given.”

Jack Richardson, climate spokesperson for the Conservative Environment Network said: “It makes no sense to keep a ban on onshore wind. It’s cheap, clean, and can help to shield British households from the volatile gas market which is wreaking havoc on households’ and the nation’s finances.

“The ban was an overcorrection in the first place. We should take a more balanced approach which will, quite literally, give power back to communities.”


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