Planning policy on renewable energy in England
Planning policy on renewable energy in England

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning policy on renewable energy in England
  • The importance of renewable and low carbon energy
  • The statutory framework
  • Projects of 50 MW or lower
  • Projects of 50 MW (or 100 MW) or more
  • The Planning Policy Framework
  • National Policy Statements
  • The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • PPG
  • Identifying sites for renewable and low carbon energy
  • More...

The importance of renewable and low carbon energy

The general principles of planning policy in England apply to renewable energy developments. However, there is particular policy guidance pertaining to issues that should be considered by applicants and/or determining authorities in relation to renewable energy. See Practice Notes: Planning policy in England, National Policy Statements and The National Planning Policy Framework.

The importance of renewable and low carbon energy is explicitly recognised in guidance issued by the then Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government (now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) in July 2013, now revoked and replaced by the online National Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). However, the importance of renewable energy is recognised in much the same way, namely through the need for:

  1. security of energy supply

  2. a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

  3. the stimulation of investment in new jobs and technologies

The chief role of the planning system is delivering and regulating renewable energy projects.

The statutory framework

Projects of 50 MW or lower

For developments of 50 megawatts (MW) or less generating capacity, or in the case of offshore wind of 100 MW or less generating capacity, development proposals proceed through the regime established by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990), with decisions taken by the local planning authority (LPA) in the first instance. Appeals are made to the Secretary of State

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