New UK Coalition wind spat claim

Nick Clegg (left) with UK leader David Cameron

Nick Clegg (left) with UK leader David Cameron

UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has sparked another high-level Coalition government row over renewables after reportedly rejecting a Conservative proposal to limit consent for new onshore wind farms.

Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, is said to have presented Clegg with plans to cap the number of new onshore projects.

The Liberal Democrats claim that in practical terms the proposals would have led to “a full-scale ban” on the construction of any more onshore wind – although the actual nature of the restriction is vague.

A Liberal Democrat source said: “Some sort of crude block towards onshore wind would seriously damage investor confidence in Britain’s energy markets.”

UK onshore wind has been the source of Coalition tension before, with many Conservatives – the majority partner – claiming that turbines spoil the rural landscape. There have already been reductions to onshore support and moves to give local communities a greater right to veto projects through the planning system.

Downing Street declined to comment on whether Cameron and Clegg had discussed the issue at a meeting this week.

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