The following is an article written by David Goodridge in the publication NetZero Watch. It details the events which led to the Welsh Government effectively selling out rural communities to meet virtue-signalling Net Zero targets. A fuller version can be found at by clicking the link at the bottom of the online version.

“Until around ten years ago, planning decisions for large onshore windfarms in England and Wales were all taken in Westminster. Only the smaller ones – those under 50 MW – were left to local planning authorities (LPAs).

Planning decisions about windfarms are nothing if not controversial, and it seems that David Cameron decided that this particular political hot potato was one that he was better off passing on to someone else. So, in 2015, he took the decision to pass decisions about large onshore windfarms back to the LPAs.

Welsh ministers, with their distinctly green-tinged views, were very keen on development in general, and on low-carbon development in particular. To support this, they had started to introduce, in 2013, the ‘Positive Planning’ agenda, with a focus on supporting and encouraging such development, rather than regulating it. Onshore windfarms would fall neatly into its scope.

However, they were under no illusions about how many windfarms would be built if LPAs were taking decisions. In the final reckoning, local pressure would tell. They therefore put in place plans to essentially hijack the devolution of powers from Westminster. This involved setting up a scheme for so-called ‘Developments of National Significance‘ (DNS), which would give Welsh ministers decision-making powers over all windfarms larger than 10 MW, with judicial review the only way to prevent them going ahead. Only the smallest proposals would still be handled by LPAs.

 As a Welsh Government response to the DNS consultation put it:

In relation to recent announcements by the UK Government regarding the delegation of all onshore wind consenting to LPAs, it is our intention to capture those projects as DNS in Wales, which are above 10MW.

Although it is perhaps unclear, there is a strong suggestion in the wording that the Welsh Government saw this as an opportunity to attract developers to Wales, as English LPAs had already shown themselves to be hostile to windfarm projects.

In the event, there was a delay of several years. However, while on the surface nothing appeared to be happening, the Welsh government was hard at work, discussing with the wind industry what rules and regulations would help them deliver and make money.

They also ensured that the wool was pulled over the eyes of the public. For example, the regulatory process included a new planning framework (the NDF), with an accompanying public consultation. However, this was barely publicised – a Freedom of Information request confirmed that the body charged with notifying community councils about it – One Voice Wales – failed to do so.

The NDF, renamed Future Wales 2040, included policies for large-scale onshore wind developments (defined as those with turbines up to 250m tall), which were relaxed even further. It introduced new areas where the landscape has been assessed as unworthy of saving, and therefore allowing for a presumption in favour of large-scale wind development (these later became known as preassessed areas; PAAs). But because of the failure to publicise the NDF (or Future Wales 2040, as it became), few people even know they are living in one.

Finally, they are introducing a new Instrastructure Bill to fast-track major projects, and will pass decision-making powers for 10-49 MW onshore windfarms back to LPAs. The Welsh climate minister Julie James has said that this is because windfarms less than 50 MW in size are no longer considered nationally significant – indeed she referred to them as “small, very small, tiny”. With the PAAs in place, and a clause in the Future Wales 2040 document requiring LPAs to observe the presumption in favour of windfarm developments in PAAs, the LPAs will be little more than rubber stamps, finding it almost impossible to reject these windfarm applications. Decisions over larger windfarms – those above 50MW – decisions remain with a single Welsh government minister.

The vast majority of the Welsh public don’t understand any of this. Most blame Westminster and the developers for the recent windfarm invasion and the desecration of the hills. But in reality it is the Welsh Government, in the grip of climate religion, who are behind it all. I hope sincerely that the people of this country wake up to the ruin elected representatives in Cardiff are inflicting on our landscapes.

Welsh Labour should hang their heads in shame.”

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