Rishi Sunak 'to overturn ban on onshore wind farms' amid concerns over Tory rebellion

4 September 2023, 06:46

Rishi Sunak is ‘set to overturn onshore wind farm ban amid party pressure’
Rishi Sunak is ‘set to overturn onshore wind farm ban amid party pressure’. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Rishi Sunak is believed to be u-turning over a ban on building new onshore wind farms amid concerns of a Tory rebellion.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Ministers are set to unveil changes to planning rules that will allow councils to give the green light to turbines where there is backing from the public.

It comes ahead of the government’s vote on the Energy Bill on Tuesday, with a group of Tory MPs backing an amendment to scrap the ban on new onshore wind, according to the Telegraph.

Labour is in favour of the proposal, meaning only six more Tory backbenchers would need to back it to overturn the government majority.

Talks are understood to have been ongoing for weeks in a bid to find a compromise, the paper said.

But plans are now being drawn up for a minister to provide a written statement in the Commons confirming that it will make the changes to the planning rules - meaning the amendment will be dropped.

Read more: Schools remain in dark over concrete crisis as fears grow that ‘thousands’ more could be at risk of collapse

Read more: Channel migrant crossings hit new daily record for 2023 as 872 people cross on 15 small vessels

One Tory MP in favour of the amendment told the paper that No10 had little choice but to act, due to its backing from “senior people from all wings of the party”.

Another MP said: “It’s great to see ministers listening to concerns and, providing local communities are happy, it will make net zero easier and cheaper too.”

Current rules state that councils can only approve new sites if they can show that local concerns have been “fully addressed”.

It means even one objection could halt a project until it is resolved.

The changes would mean requirements are loosened so sites can be built “when it has been demonstrated that the planning impacts have been satisfactorily addressed”.

The guidance is also set to say that councils can only approve them where “there is community support”.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Aslef union has promised rolling strikes between 1 and 9 December

Will your train journey be affected over the Christmas period? December strikes explained

King Charles warned Cop28 that the 'hope of the world' rested on the Dubai summit's shoulders today

'Hope of the world' rests on Dubai climate summit, King Charles tells Cop28

A Met Police officer tasered a 10-year-old girl

Father of girl, 10, tasered by police says officer's actions are a 'green light to go around tasering anybody'

Dozens of schools have been forced to close amid the snowfall

Dozens of UK schools forced to close as Brits wake up to snow - see the full list

Japan US Osprey Crash

Japan voices concern about US military using Osprey aircraft after fatal crash

Thousands of families face being kicked out of their homes ahead of Christmas

'It's about not having anywhere for my kids to sleep': 12,500 families face eviction by Christmas

Engineers were called to the scene after an overhead cable failing left 700 passengers without power or working toilets.

‘Inhumane’ conditions as Eurostar passengers stranded for eight hours without toilets or power

Israel Palestinians

Israeli jets hit Gaza targets after week-long truce expires

Snow has blanketed parts of the UK and more is set to fall today

UK snow latest: Cold health alerts issued as snow blankets parts of UK

Snow has fallen in areas around the UK after one of the coldest Novembers in years. Credit: Alamy

Health alerts issued and elderly people told to 'wear more layers' as South-east England sees earliest winter snow in 15 years

Safina Namukwaya has given birth to twins aged 70

Seventy-year-old woman gives birth to twins, but says the father has abandoned her

Israel Palestinians

Israel resumes strikes in Gaza Strip as truce with Hamas expires

Jeremy Clarkson has broken his silence after it emerged that he, James May and Richard Hammond were set to leave the Grand Tour

Jeremy Clarkson breaks silence with good news despite leaving Grand Tour alongside Richard Hammond and James May

Police clashed with Legia Warsaw fans on Thursday night

Police officer set on fire and three more hurt after Polish football fans unleash 'planned violence' at Aston Villa game

King Charles in Dubai

Charles to tell world leaders 'the Earth does not belong to us' at Cop28 as he 'prays for action on climate'

Parts of the UK are set to see 5cm of snow on Friday

Brits to get 5cm of snow as temperatures plummet to -10C, as warning issued for drivers amid freezing conditions