The Conservatives’ Shadow Local Government Minister has told Holderness protestors he will change the rules to give local people more say on planning applications such as wind farms.
Bob Neill MP came to the area at the invitation of Graham Stuart MP in response to complaints from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and local people that the powers of decision have been removed from local people by the Government.
Graham said: “I am delighted Bob was able to come to Beverley and Holderness and hear for himself the concerns of both the East Riding Council and residents who fear they are being railroaded by the government when it comes to wind farm applications.
“Wind farms are a necessary part of our energy strategy but applications must be decided locally not in Bristol or Westminster.
“It’s sadly typical of our current government that they think the only way to promote something is to force it on people. The East Riding has already met its 2020 target for renewable energy and should not have more wind farms forced on it if they are inappropriately sited and will blight landscapes.
“The people of this area are more than reasonable and are happy to do their bit for the national interest. That’s why it is so wrong that companies are barely consulting locally but spending fortunes on lawyers to drive through decisions on appeal.”
Bob said: “If the next government is led by the Conservatives we will be making some very significant revisions to planning policy.
“We will make it harder for developers to appeal against properly made local decisions and give power and control back to local communities.
“Following my visit I will look at how we might change the rules on community benefits from developments such as wind farms so that, where they do go ahead, there is a clear gain for local people.
“We need to get the balance right so that developments can proceed but with local support not local opposition.”
Graham and Bob met with Cllr Steve Parnaby, leader of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and councillors Symon Fraser and Matthew Grove.
They then met with ward councillors Richard Stead and Matthew Grove and wind farm campaigners Dr Brian Wells, Cherie Blenkin and Jackie Cracknell.