Starmer: Labour would lift ban on new onshore wind farms

A Labour government would lift the planning ban on new onshore wind farms as part of its plan to make the UK a clean energy superpower, Sir Keir Starmer has vowed.

The Labour leader said Rishi Sunak’s refusal to back onshore wind “is about putting his party first, and the country second”.

The Prime Minister brought back a de facto ban on the construction of new onshore wind turbines after his predecessor Liz Truss moved to relax planning rules.

Sir Keir described the decision as a “national act of self-harm, choking off our economic potential”.

Labour has already pledged to double onshore wind and quadruple offshore wind in its plan for clean power by 2030.

During a visit to a wind farm in Grimsby, North Lincolnshire, on Thursday, Sir Keir said the plan would involve “persuading some communities to get on board”.

He said he would not hesitate to ditch the planning ban on onshore wind so that “we can create tens of thousands of good quality skilled jobs”, even if it “means some communities adapting to a new landscape”.

Labour’s proposed planning changes include removing the loophole that allows a single person’s objection to stop an application, bringing planning requirements in line with other infrastructure and imposing new targets to get planning decisions on renewables down from years to just months.

There would also be a crackdown on Whitehall blocking developments, and moves to proactively identify land for renewable energy opportunities.

Sir Keir said: “My government will remove planning barriers to unleash Britain’s potential. By making the UK a clean energy superpower, we’ll slash energy bills, create tens of thousands of quality jobs and turbocharge the economic security of communities up and down the country.

“Hemmed in by managing his fractured party, the Prime Minister’s refusal to back onshore wind is about putting his party first, and the country second. Rishi Sunak’s inability to make the choices needed is a national act of self-harm, choking off our economic potential.

“Tackling the climate crisis requires leadership. There will be communities that need to adapt to their new landscape. For jobs, skills, growth and our environmental responsibilities, my government will make the big decisions needed and seize Britain’s future.”