Action urged on planning laws 'environmental disaster'

England's planning laws have been branded an "ecological and environmental disaster" for renewable energy by a Labour former minister.

Hugh Bayley (City of York) said almost everyone supported the need to generate more electricity from renewable resources.

"But whenever an application is made for a wind turbine you get objections, delays and, more often than not, a rejection."

He told Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks that Germany and Denmark were "far ahead" of Britain.

"The planning laws (here) are resulting in millions of tonnes of carbon unnecessarily being pumped into the atmosphere. In fact they are an ecological and environmental disaster. Will the Government do something about it?"

Wicks said about 5 per cent of electricity generated now came from renewable resources and the Government would consult over the summer about how to raise this further.

The planning laws were being reformed. While "it is perfectly right and proper that we safeguard the rights of local communities to voice their concerns, we do need faster access to infrastructure because of the importance of climate change".

A number of renewable schemes were in the pipeline and planning reform "will ease our progress".

Image: Hugh Bayley MP

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