A leading Yorkshire renewable energy company has welcomed the Government’s intention to relax planning laws, making it easier for home and land owners to install renewable energy sources.
Harrogate-based Clean Energy (Yorkshire) said strict planning policies – particularly in the “green belt” – were preventing the creation of wind and solar farms, which could be fed into the National Grid.
The company was started by husband and wife team Spencer and Tamsin Cassidy and now employs 19 people.
Last year, the firm launched a dedicated planning department to help guide owners of listed buildings, or those with properties in sensitive areas, through the complicated process of applying for permission to install renewable energy systems.
Mr Cassidy said: “By 2020 the Government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent. By 2050 that figure has been set at 80 per cent.
“The present planning constraints will only hinder it achieving its targets, therefore we are pleased it is now recognising that it has to make concessions in the planning process.
“In particular, we want to see it made much simpler for landowners, in particular farmers, to be able to erect wind turbines and solar panels on their land.
“In addition to rearing animals and growing crops, the famers can harvest the energy from the sun and wind and export the power they generate to the National Grid.”
He added: “More and more householders are waking up to the fact that solar power is efficient and, if installed by an accredited company, the Government will pay them a fixed income for 25 years.
“However, this alone won’t be enough for the UK to meets its targets, which are binding in the Climate Change Act 2008.
“I’ve worked with a number of landowners, and, because of the planning laws, trying to get permission for the smallest turbines on land in the greenbelt, or in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, or National Park, is very difficult.
“The installations we are referring to won’t harm the environment, but enhance and protect it for future generations.”
Further details about Clean Energy (Yorkshire) are available from its website www.cleanenergy-uk.com, or by calling Spencer and his team on 01423 541 315.