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Tories from windiest seats call for Rishi Sunak to lift ban on onshore turbines

Conservative MPs from some of England’s windiest constituencies have called for the Government to lift its de facto ban on on-shore wind energy.

Unlocking on-shore wind could boost the party’s attempts to defend seats it is desperate to keep hold of at the next election.

It comes as i analysis shows that there is strong public support for land-based turbines in dozens of Tory-held constituencies that top the charts for wind energy potential.

Simon Clarke, the former Levelling Up Secretary and MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland told i: “On-shore wind is one of the cheapest and cleanest forms of energy we can build and is popular with the public. It could help bring down industrial electricity prices in places like Teesside.

“Yet, with current planning rules, it is almost impossible to get them built even in places where they might have majority support from residents. Rather than have a Whitehall-imposed ban, the Government should give communities a proper say over new on-shore wind projects.”

Jason McCartney, the MP for Colne Valley in West Yorkshire, which has changed hands four times since 1997, told i that with inflation and energy bills still high, ministers should not be blocking cheap energy.

“Current restrictions mean just one or two objections can hold up an entire project,” he said. “This doesn’t reflect the popularity of onshore wind nor the need to give communities a proper say over whether new energy infrastructure should be built in their area. Cheap, clean, and quick to build, on-shore wind should be allowed where local residents support it.”

“Community-led projects for on-shore renewables can help get genuine buy-in for the energy transition and give people a financial benefit from net zero. The Government should make supporting this sector a priority in the Energy Bill,” she said.


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