Campaigners have taken to the streets of Beverley today to protest about the numbers of wind turnbines that they say blight East Yorkshire. Smaller groups joined forces for the mass march before delivering a list of demands to the offices of East Riding Council.
They say the area has more than done its bit for renewable power. Martin Fisher has the story.
Campaigners opposed to more wind farms in East Yorkshire will march through Beverley this morning before delivering their demands to the planning department of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
The area already has the highest density of wind turbines in England with 2 hundred and 23 either built, approved or pending consideration.
The MP for Selby & Ainsty has welcomed new rules published by the government which should make it easier for communities to object to proposed windfarms.
Nigel Adams says councils should be able to turn such developments down without the fear of a costly legal battle.
Some see them as a blot on the landscape while others believe they could be the future of green energy, but today, those who believe wind turbines are a rural monstrosity have welcomed new rules that could make it easier to stop them from being built.
The Government has published new rules which mean communities will be consulted sooner, but those which say yes to turbines could get financial incentives. James Webster has more.
Campaigners against proposed wind farms say they welcome changes that could make it easier for them to block plans for new turbines. Howard Ferguson leads a group of demonstrators in North Yorkshire who have spent four years trying to block a proposed new wind farm development.
The government has announced changes giving communities more say in the siting of onshore wind farms, and reap increased benefits from hosting developments that do proceed. Consultations will take place sooner and there will be an increase in the value of community benefits paid for by developers.
New planning guidance will make clear that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities. It will give greater weight to landscape and visual impact concerns.
Ministers will be writing to the Planning Inspectorate and councils immediately to flag up that new guidance will become available shortly. Government will also assist local people to gain the skills they need to enable them to engage more confidently with developers.
WWF-UK has warned the government that it should be careful not to "stifle" the onshore wind industry just to silence a "vocal minority".
Nick Molho, the head of climate and energy policy at WWF-UK, said:
RenewableUK, an energy trade association, said the government's proposals of giving communities a financial "sweetener" for having wind farms in their area was "uneconomic."
The government has announced a raft of new proposals that gives communities the chance to stop wind farms being built in their area.
Here is a look at how important wind turbines are for the UK's energy supply:
- Onshore wind provided 3% of the UK's electricity supplies in 2011.
- That generated enough power for the equivalent of 2.5 million homes.
- More than 4,000 wind turbines are in operation across the country.
- Almost 6,000 are under or awaiting construction or in the planning system.
- The industry attracted £1.6 billion in private investment in 2011/2012.
- It supports approximately 1,800 jobs.