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Developing Local Partnerships for Onshore Wind in England – call for input by 12 June

The government is consulting on proposals relating to community engagement and benefits for onshore wind projects. The Policy team is soliciting input from members by 12 June to inform our response to the consultation.

This consultation’s two key proposals are:

  1. Embedding principles of best practice for community engagement for onshore wind farms into the NPPG, and;
  2. Updating Renewable UK’s Community Benefits Protocol for Onshore Wind in England to encourage new types of community benefits, including discounted electricity for communities that support windfarms.

The current community engagement guidance for onshore wind projects requires developers to consult with the local community at pre-application stage, use innovative engagement methods and revise the size and layout of projects in response to feedback. The government proposes embedding the following principles of best practice into the NPPG:

  • Plan their engagement, but also designed and developed their plan for engagement alongside the community and in response to feedback;
  • Engage with the community as early as possible and been transparent about their proposal;
  • Thought carefully about the characteristics of the affected local community, recognising that every community is different, and taken identifiable steps to reach as many people in that community as possible;
  • Use a variety of engagement methods to gather feedback, ranging from traditional in-person methods to digital and online platforms, to innovative community outreach techniques; and
  • Plan for on-going engagement across the lifetime of the site.

Renewable UK’s Community Benefits Protocol for England expects onshore wind developers to pay £5,000 per megawatt of installed capacity into a community trust, or equivalent benefits-in-kind, per year. The proposals seek to update the protocol to take account of electricity bill discounts and other innovative community benefit models.

While we welcome any view you have, input on the following questions would be particularly valuable:

  • For good reason, the government proposes that new community benefits packages should be considered immaterial to planning decisions – but is this distinction viable in practice?
  • Should the government go further in its proposed principles for engagement by encouraging deliberative, participatory, or other progressive models of engagement?
  • Should the proposed principles for engagement be applied to all types of development, given that they are not overly arduous, but do provide more detail on the NPPG’s existing engagement guidance?


Please send input to the Policy team at [email protected].

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