Minister defends lack of turbine restrictions

Ed Davey
Ed Davey
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Environment and climate change secretary Ed Davey has defended Government wind farm policy after concerns were raised by South Yorkshire villagers.

Mr Davey spoke as he visited the £22 million Penny Hill wind farm at Ulley, between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Mike Corden, of Ulley Action Group, called for changes in the law so there is a minimum distance between turbines and homes – no restriction applies at present.

Mr Davey said: “There is no minimum distance at present.

“The danger of having that is one size doesn’t fit all, so it is up to local councils, as planning authorities, to decide on such issues. Renewable energy such as wind power is necessary so we are not relying on too few sources of power.”

Mr Davey said that communities living near wind farms would be able to receive greater benefits in return, under new changes which have just been announced by the Government.

Banks Renewables, which operates Penny Hill and hosted Mr Davey’s visit, responded to Mr Corden’s anger at members of the public not being invited.

A spokesman for the company said: “This was a private visit and invitations were sent to local people directly involved with the development through the Penny Hill Community Panel.”