Communities should be 'bribed' to accept more wind farms, says MP


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The Independent Online

Local communities should be "bribed" to accept more wind farms in the countryside so Britain can meet its renewable energy targets, a senior Conservative MP said yesterday

Tim Yeo, chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee, said communities should be incentivised to agree to on-shore wind farms rather than simply having them imposed. He was speaking after it emerged the Treasury was considering cutting the subsidy for the turbines by 25 per cent after a sustained campaign by Tory MPs.

"We do have to work harder to find places where wind turbines are acceptable and be more creative about sharing the benefits with locals," Mr Yeo said. "Frankly, we need to bribe them."

He continued: "The cost of onshore wind is about half that of offshore wind. If you want to cut down the cost, slow down the rate of offshore wind development, not onshore." Yesterday, Lincolnshire County Council said it was considering banning wind turbines from being built within 10km of any settlement of 10 or more houses. Martin Hill, its leader, told the BBC he didn't want "the whole county to be covered by a forest of them".

A poll for The Independent published yesterday found that two thirds of Britons believe more wind farms are an acceptable price to pay for green energy.