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Wind Power

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to ensure that the terms of the convention on landscape agreed by the Council of Europe in 2000 are taken into account when determining applications for wind farms. (124996)

The European landscape convention includes measures to

“establish procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties with an interest in the definition and implementation of landscape policies”


“to integrate landscape into its regional and town planning policies”.

The Government's policies on planning for renewable energy, including on landscape protection, are set out in planning policy statement (PPS) 22. The PPS is supported by a companion guide which provides practice guidance including on assessing the visual and landscape effects of planning applications for wind turbines.

Where the application is accompanied by an environmental statement this will, inter alia, include a description of the environment, which includes the landscape, affected by the application, a description of the likely significant effects of the development on the environment and a description of the measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and where possible, offset any significant adverse effects on the environment. These matters will be taken into account when deciding whether or not to approve an application.

Public consultation is a central part of established plan-making and development control procedures. In particular, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to prepare statements of community involvement in which they set their policy on involving their community in preparing regional spatial strategies, local development documents and on consulting on planning applications.