“Wind turbines offer huge rewards to already rich landowners – but rather less for the rest of us
Sunak’s Government has miscalculated in giving in to Tory eco rebels. Green energy is popular in theory, but not in practice.
Is Rishi Sunak already a prisoner in Number 10?
Twenty four hours after giving in to backbench rebels and abolishing house-building targets he has now given into the Tory wind farm lobby, too — lifting the moratorium on onshore wind farms imposed by David
Cameron in 2015.
According to the rebels, led by former levelling-up secretary Simon Clarke, onshore wind is very popular with voters. A YouGov poll published at the weekend claimed that 64 per cent of Tory voters would support the construction of a wind farm ‘near’ their home, with only 30 percent against. The crucial word there is ‘near’. What does it mean? A hundred yards away, half a mile away, 10 miles away?
A lot of Tory voters live in urban areas where they know they are not going to get a wind farm at the end of their road. Perhaps
they wouldn’t mind a wind farm built on farmland several miles away. But the real test will come once the planning applications start to roll in for real — and many voters realise they will be in the shadow of turbines which have roughly doubled in height since the moratorium has been in place. The tallest onshore turbine in Scotland — where there never was a moratorium — is 600 feet, roughly as high as the North Downs.
We are rapidly going to discover just how few potential wind farm sites there are in the South East which are more than half a mile from the nearest residential property. There are more sparsely-populated areas in the North, but many of those are within national parks