MP leads revolt for change of turbine rules

A REVOLT in Parliament over Goverment support for wind turbines is being led by Daventry’s MP.

Chris Heaton-Harris took the lead in penning a letter to the Prime Minister outlining problems with subsidising onshore wind farms, and the problems local people have when trying to defeat planning applications.

His letter to David Cameron was signed by 104 other MPs.

Mr Heaton-Harris told the Daventry Express: “The letter says that we need to look at how much subsidy we give on shore wind turbines.

“We should withdraw the subsidy and use it to support other renewable technologies that have been proven to work.

“We need to amend the new National Planning Policy Framework so that the landscape and heritage aspects are taken into account when judging applications.

“We also need someone to tell the Planning Inspectorate that the views of local people should be paramount in their decisions.”

The letter made headline news in national newspapers over the weekend.

It follows in the wake of a series of wind farm applications for the Daventry area which were opposed by local people, rejected by Daventry District Council but given the go-ahead by an planning inspector on appeal.

There are currently plans for a dozen wind farms across the Daventry area, including Yelvertoft, Watford and Long Buckby.

Several have already been given approval, but only the DIRFT turbines are up and running – though these are only 88 metres tall, compared to the 125-metre height for most local planning applications.

Although the majority of people (101) signing the letter were Tory MPs – effectively rebelling against the Government’s line – there were other parties included.

Mr Heaton-Harris said: “There’s two Labour signatures, two Lib Dems and a DUP MP as well.

“It wasn’t hard to get that many signatures, and I could have gotten more but there was a deadline.

“There’s way more interest than 105, but some people aren’t keen to put their name to something yet.

“A parliamentary and national campaign is now coalescing and the strength of feeling is building.”