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Mixed response to wind farm planning changes

It will now be easier for onshore wind farms to be built in the UK

The Prime Minister’s decision to ease an effective ban on new onshore wind farms in England has received mixed responses from the fieldsports community. Planning rules were amended last week, making it easier for onshore wind farms to be built, despite Rishi Sunak claiming last year that he would retain the effective ban on new onshore wind farms.

Keeper and ST columnist Lindsay Waddell criticised the decision to build more wind farms in Scotland recently, arguing that cutting down millions of trees to accommodate wind farms and turbines was not a viable option for producing electricity. However, he added that the decision should not affect grouse moors in the north.

Speaking to ST, Waddell explained: “Given the vast majority of grouse moors are notified sites (SSSI,SPA and SAC), then the chances of getting permission to build wind farms is, or should be, virtually zero. It is perhaps the one occasion that being a notified site has an advantage.”

In East Anglia, Richard Negus argued that the move to onshore wind farms would have a less negative impact on wildlife than the current offshore sites do. “If sympathetically sited, as many wind farms are on the old wartime airfields, onshore is a sustainable energy generator, far preferable to the woodcock-chopping deathtraps that we see currently whirring away out in the North Sea,” he said.

This story first appeared in Shooting Times, Britain’s oldest and best-selling shooting magazine. Published every Wednesday, the 141-year-old title has long been at the coalface of the countryside, breaking the stories that matter to you. Subscribe here.