Turbine terrier Hayes pitches into battle to protect communities from being over run with them and says ‘enough is enough’

PUBLISHED: 15:19 01 November 2012

John Hayes MP

John Hayes MP

Archant

TORY MP and energy minister John Hayes is at a centre of a political storm by insisting communities have the right to stop the flood of wind turbines from being built.

Mr Hayes, the MP for South Holland, told journalists from two national papers that the country could “no longer have wind turbines imposed on them”.

He said enough was enough and he had commissioned research on how wind turbines affect house prices and the rural landscape.

Mr Hayes threw doubt on the future of onshore wind turbines locally by claiming only a minority of wind turbines in the planning system – 500 a year for the next eight years are planned- would be approved but that they would be enough to meet the Government’s renewable energy targets.

“I can’t single-handedly build a New Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land,” said Mr Hayes

“We need to understand communities’ genuine desires. We will form our policy in the future on the basis of that, not on a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective.”

He added: “If you look at what has been built, what has consent and what is in the planning system, much of it will not get through and will be rejected.”

However he has been slapped down by Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who insisted there was “no change to Government policy on renewable energy”.

Contradicting his junior Minister, who was appointed to the role in September’s reshuffle, Mr Davey said: “There are no targets – or caps – for individual renewable technologies such as onshore wind.

“Nor are there reviews being done of onshore wind on the basis of landscape or property values.

“What we’re currently consulting on is ways of making sure local communities feel the benefit of hosting wind farms, and whether our understanding of future costs is accurate.”

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