Rishi Sunak is preparing to overturn a ban on building new onshore wind farms in order to prevent a revolt from members of his own Conservative Party. The Telegraph has more.
Ministers are poised to unveil changes to planning rules that will free up councils to give the green light to proposed turbines where there is broad public support.
The move comes as MPs prepare to vote on the Government’s contentious Energy Bill on Tuesday after returning from their summer break.
A group of Tories is backing an amendment tabled by Sir Alok Sharma, the former Cop26 President, that would scrap the ban on new onshore wind.
It has attracted signatories from all wings of the party including Liz Truss, the former Prime Minister. Rebels are “confident” it is destined to pass.
Labour supports the proposal, which means only six more Tory backbenchers would need to vote in favour to overturn the Government’s majority.
The Telegraph understands ministers have been locked in talks with MPs for almost a week over a compromise deal to avoid a bruising Commons defeat.
Negotiations are set to continue on Monday as the final details are thrashed out, especially on how quickly the Government will be able to legally scrap the ban.
But plans are being drawn up for a minister to submit a written statement to the Commons this week committing to change the current planning rules.
Having secured the necessary guarantees, the rebels would then drop their amendment.
It would end the situation, which has been written into law since 2015, where an objection from just a single resident can prevent a wind farm from being built.
Government sources said the changes would allow councils to “more flexibly address the planning impacts of onshore wind projects as identified by local communities”.
One Tory MP who is supporting the amendment said No10 had little choice but to act, given it was supported by “senior people from all wings of the party”.
Another added: “It’s great to see ministers listening to concerns and, providing local communities are happy, it will make Net Zero easier and cheaper too.”
Worth reading in full.