Government Outline Wind Farm Targets by 2020
With government claims that most people back today’s wind farm announcements, and the Guardian citing a new NOP poll showing 80% favour their use and 64% are happy to live within 5km of a development,
Why does it still take so long to push through planning?
Residents seem to be unable to visualise new developments and feel pushed out of the planning process. In the recent example of a proposed farm in Stonish Hill, a ‘Vscapes’ presentation (virtual landscape) for us non techies, was used to clearly engage local residents and offer an accurate depiction of the proposed development, for more info click here. Earthware, the company commissioned to prepare the presentation, created scale 3D models and then embed these with Google Earth, allowing navigation around the proposed development, and demonstrating accurate views from any location.
If the government are going to reach their stated targets, further support and more efficient processes like that used in the Stonish Hill wind farm will come to the forefront in the mind set of both local planning authorities, but perhaps more pertinently with developers, as long drawn out applications result in lower ROI, but with no major increase in government funding these additional costs would have to be raised by customers through higher bills.
A recent Sustainable Development commission report cited community engagement and environmental impacts as two key factors in the future success of wind power development in the UK, and with many applications being rejected much like the proposal for the Drummuir Estate wind farm, declined as Lord Gill said there was "no substance" to the council's submission on the cumulative impact of the proposal, and with the 2020 deadline outlined by the government it is pertinent for developers to take notice of the added value a Vscapes presentation offers.