The Government has amended NPPG guidance on wind turbines to read:

“What are the particular planning considerations that relate to wind turbines?


The following questions should be considered when determining applications for wind turbines:

  Do local people have the final say on wind farm applications?

  How are noise impacts of wind turbines assessed?

  Is safety an issue when wind turbine applications are assessed?

  Is interference with electromagnetic transmissions an issue for wind turbine applications?

  How can the risk of wind turbines be assessed for ecology?

  How should heritage be taken into account in assessing wind turbine applications?

  Is shadow flicker and reflected light an issue for wind turbine applications?

  How to assess the likely energy output of a wind turbine?

  How should cumulative landscape and visual impacts from wind turbines be assessed?

  What information is needed to assess cumulative landscape and visual impacts of wind turbines?

  Decommissioning wind turbines”


The difference between the old guidance and the new guidance is the addition of the first indent “Do local people have the final say on wind farm applications?” Many will find this strange. Local opinion based on planning grounds is an established material consideration; but a local veto is not. There will be concern about the idea that local people should have a veto on a type of development that is often unpopular, but which helps to meet a need, in this case the need for energy supplies. If this approach is applied to wind turbines, will we see it applied to some of the following: prisons, probation hostels, housing on green fields, quarries, Gypsy sites, fracking and transport infrastructure? Or will there be a recognition that unpopular development is often needed. Time will tell.


Article written by No5 Barrister Tim Jones