It is a bit less than two years since the Government issued its National Policy Statement on Renewable Energy (EN-3) under the Planning Act 2008, to provide (its words) “the primary basis” on which applications for nationally significant renewable energy infrastructure projects would be determined. To be within the scope of the NPS an onshore windfarm would need to have a capacity of over 50 MW, about 14 turbines of typical size. Proponents of such schemes might have hoped that, together with the overarching NPS on energy infrastructure (EN-1), these statements would provide a clear basis for consenting decisions over the next few years. However, Lesson 1 which should be learnt at planning schools today is that no government can last more than 5 minutes without tinkering with planning policy and indeed planning law.
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