A new planning framework out for consultation now would set in stone a dangerous double standard. However unpopular fracking applications might be, the guidance would mean planning authorities would have to 'facilitate' them. Yet they would be forced to reject wind turbines in almost all cases, even if public opinion was in favour.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England will determine what can be built in coming years, guiding local authorities in the preparation of development plans and decisions on planning applications.
It could open us up to a fracking-free-for-all, while making new onshore wind almost impossible.
Can you spare 15 minutes (or even 5!) to have your say?
(Many thanks to Frack Free Ryedale for useful resources on this consultation)
How to respond
The draft text is here, and you can respond via the online form (this seems relatively straightforward, you navigate by ticking a box for the page you want to go to and clicking 'Next'). NB. it is fine to only leave comments in response to one or two questions! You can also send responses by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (don't forget to include your name and address and be clear which section you are commenting on if you do this). The deadline for responses is 11.45pm Thursday 10 May.
Chapter 14: 'Meeting the challenge of climate change'
At first glance the draft text may seem reasonable, but a key footnote tells a different story...
Footnote 40: "A proposed wind energy development involving one or more wind turbines should not be considered acceptable unless it is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy development in the development plan; and, following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by the affected local community have been fully addressed and the proposal has their backing"