COLUMN: Policy is a welcome wind of change

Mark Simmonds
Mark Simmonds

MP Mark Simmonds pens his latest column on new powers for residents to oppose wind farms...

Lincolnshire is home to some of the most beautiful and valuable countryside in the UK. Our farmers and fields make a massive contribution to both the UK’s food supply and economy.

This should not be undervalued or threatened.

The threat of wind farm developments looms for many communities. In the last few years, I have been contacted by over a thousand constituents who are concerned about wind farm developments, and associated infrastructure, in Boston and Skegness.

They feel that they are not consulted with, and decisions are made behind closed doors without their input.

Whilst renewable energy has a role to play in a diverse and balanced energy portfolio, I am convinced that it must not be detrimental to local communities or our agricultural industry.

This is why I was pleased to receive confirmation that lobbying had paid off and the Government is going to give people and communities a greater say over wind farms.

The proposals will also ensure that local authorities are not obligated to give planning permission for wind farm proposals if they think the impact on the local area will be unacceptable.

As the MP for Boston and Skegness I have consistently opposed any inappropriate proposals for our flat fenland landscape.

I have made representations to both ministers in Government and development companies stating my opposition and ensuring that the voice of my constituents is heard.

I am hopeful that the Government’s proposals to give communities a greater say and more control will show our commitment to protecting the countryside and its communities.