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Wind Turbines

Volume 547: debated on Monday 2 July 2012

17. What steps his Department is taking to promote small wind turbines within the planning framework. (114403)

Following the requirements of a private Member’s Bill in the last Parliament, the Government have introduced permitted development rights for domestic installations of small-scale renewable energy projects.

Does the Minister agree that although not all communities are keen for large-scale wind generation in their area, many small businesses, families, households and neighbourhoods are keen on small wind-powered generating turbines, such as those supplied by the excellent Windcrop in my constituency, as part of the micro- generation revolution that the Government are promoting? What assurance will he give the House that the Government will continue to promote that popular brand of microgeneration from small, local wind projects?

I am aware that the firm to which my hon. Friend refers creates valuable jobs in his constituency. He will also know that Norfolk, like other places in the country, attracts tourists, so it is right to maintain the quality and character of the landscape. The new permitted development regulations give some latitude to householders, but not in a way that will destroy landscapes.