Today's Telegraph has gone big on 'Giving control back to Councils....'. Its part of a campaign to return power to the people. I'm really up for that. So let the new Rainbow Coalition start by scrapping Technical Advice Note 8, the obscene little rule book which forces Local Planning Authorities to give planning permission for wind farms in parts of Wales which have been given the Orwellian like designation of Strategic Search Areas.
Now I'm not sure this is the sort of issue Will catch fire in the blogosphere - but it creates a raging inferno in the parts of Wales that have been designated for visual destruction, through transformation into wind farm landscapes by TAN 8. I hope the negotiators of the Rainbow Coalition deal have this issue on their agenda. Scrapping it and redrafting the planning guidelines in respect of energy projects (including wind farms) would give the new Government a flying start in rural Wales.
The most obnoxious aspect of TAN 8 was that it was worded with the devious (unstated) intention to remove the power of local planners to decide. In an SSA - approval or costs against you by an inspector. Outside an SSA - refusal, even if its a better site. What sort of local democracy is that. Lets give the power to decide whether a wind farm should go ahead or not back to local councillors to decide. I can't see how this issue can be avoided after what the three parties were saying over recent months. I feel a surge of excitement as the glorious landscapes of Wales can look forward to being saved from the ravages of the Philistines.