Johnson, Truss and Sharma join onshore wind rebellion

30th November 2022


Former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have joined a growing Conservative backbench rebellion aiming to overturn the de facto ban on onshore wind farm development.

They are among 22 Tory MPs to have signed an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which aims to force the government to revise the National Planning Policy Framework to allow applications to build onshore wind farms. COP26 president Alok Sharma has also backed the amendment.

Under the amendment, tabled by Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Simon Clarke – briefly Secretary for Levelling Up under Truss – the framework would allow new onshore wind farms and the revamping of existing installations where they are backed by the community. Scheme developers would not be allowed to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate if rejected by a local authority.

Current prime minister Rishi Sunak aims to follow a manifesto pledge restricting onshore wind schemes by retaining the framework’s rules.

During her brief period as prime minister, Truss backed plans to lift the ban on onshore wind projects as part of her growth agenda, while Johnson’s British Energy Security Strategy policy paper suggested revising the framework to allow some projects where communities supported them.

Ministers are now considering the amendment, while a Commons vote on the bill has been postponed due to a separate backbench rebellion over housing development.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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