Steve Barclay one of 100 MPs’ demanding cuts in wind farm subsidies

10:10 13 February 2012

March Bears game called off because of snow.

March Bears game called off because of snow.

Archant

FENLAND MP Steve Barclay is among a dissident band of Tory backbenchers criticising the government’s support for “inefficient” onshore wind turbines.

More than 100 Tory backbenchers, including Steve Barclay, the MP for NE Cambs, have written to the Prime Minister demanding he “dramatically cut” the £400million in annual subsidies paid to onshore wind developers.

Their letter says: “In these financially straightened times, we think it is unwise to make consumers pay, through taxpayer subsidy, for inefficient and intermittent energy production that typifies on-shore wind turbines.”

Other local signatories include Richard Bacon (South Norfolk), Brandon Lewis (Great Yarmouth), Matthew Hancock (West Suffolk), Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich) and David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds).

The rebel MPs said turbines were better placed offshore where the wind is stronger and the landscape impact can be minimised.

The letter to David Cameron also expresses concerns that the government’s proposed shake-up of the planning system “diminishes the chances of local people defeating onshore wind farm proposals”.

It says the UK target to achieve 15 per cent of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 had been cited by planning inspectors as being “more important than planning considerations” when deciding disputed developments.

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    David Ramsbotham

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