Explaining wind power planning outcomes, some findings from a study in England and Wales

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This paper discusses the factors that influence the outcome of onshore windfarm planning application in England and Wales. Various qualitative and quantitative methods have been employed, including regression analysis. Strong associations have been discovered between the outcome of local authority planning decisions, the opinions of local planning officers, the opinions of parish councils where the proposed windfarms are to be sited and the opinions of landscape protection groups. The attitude of people in the immediate vicinity of proposed windfarms is found to be the most important influence on the decisions made by local authorities. However, the local perception of the economic impact is of crucial importance in forming this judgement, as is the national political environment. The expected attitude of Appeal Inspectors is also important. It is concluded that there is a lot that wind power developers could do to improve the prospects of planning success. This includes engaging in local 'parish council' politics, talking to the closest residents to proposed schemes and encouraging local pro-wind power campaigns. Future projects are likely to be favoured by installing viewing towers at the tops of turbines to encourage visitors and in selling shares in the schemes to local people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1539
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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