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Guidance on renewables planning ‘lacks details’

Guidelines on the planning of renewable energy facilities lack details and clarity, said the Renewable Energy Association.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published the ‘Planning practice guidance for renewable and low carbon energy’, which provides advice on planning issues associated with the development of renewable energy, such as the identification of suitable sites.

According to the REA, the document substitutes other much more detailed guidelines and would do little to resolve “political tensions” around renewables and planning.

REA chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “It’s hard to see how this guidance will assist in delivering the expansion of renewable energy the Government and the country need.

“Renewable energy supports energy security, emissions reduction, jobs and green growth – and no one would disagree that renewables must be deployed responsibly and be sensitive to local concerns. The difficult decisions arise when considering the details, and this document fails to offer clarity to those on either side of the debate.”

Gev Eduljee, external affairs director at SITA UK, noted that the guidelines did not contain any mention of energy from waste facilities. “This is particularly unfortunate, given that the potential of relatively untapped indigenous energy resources embedded in residual waste is belatedly being recognised in energy policy – in our National Infrastructure Plan, DECC’s low carbon plan, the renewable energy roadmap, and in the National Policy Statement on renewable energy,” he said.

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