A ban on new onshore wind farms in England is being overturned by the new Labour government, in a move welcomed by green campaigners.

In her debut speech as chancellor, Rahcel Reeves revealed Labour ’s ambition to “get Britain building again” by reviving compulsory housebuilding targets and other initiatives as it looks to increase the pace of national infrastructure projects.

The change, which comes into force immediately, will be confirmed to Parliament on 18 July after the Commons resumes sitting.

In a further move welcomed by green campaigners, Labour said it would consult on whether to designate large windfarms as nationally significant infrastructure projects.

This means the decision-making would be made by energy secretary, Ed Miliband, sidestepping local councils.

By greenlighting onshore wind farms, Labour is overturning a Conservative rule which meant that objections could block new onshore wind projects. The ban has meant that no large-scale onshore wind farms have been built in England in nearly 10 years.

The greenlighting of onshore wind projects could potentially lead to hundreds of new turbines being built.

But in comments reported by the BBC,  Reeves admitted there would be opposition to her infrastructure plans.

“I’m not naive to that, and we must acknowledge that trade-offs always exist,” she said.

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.”Any development may have environmental consequences, place pressure on services and rouse voices of local opposition, but we will not succumb to a status quo which responds to the existence of trade-offs by always saying no.”

Mike Childs, the head of science, policy and research at Friends of the Earth, said: “By ending the onshore wind ban in England, Labour is making an important stride towards delivering on our climate goals while also paving the way for lower bills, as renewables produce some of the cheapest and cleanest energy available.”

Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s chief scientist, said: “As the recent gas price crisis shows, this ban was self-defeating for energy security, costly, and lost opportunities to cut emissions. The end of the ban is well overdue.”

England submitted only seven applications for onshore wind turbines in 2023, all of which were to replace existing turbines or for private sites producing energy for particular clients, such as businesses.

Circular economyClimate crisisEnergyInnovationNature and the environmentNet zeroPolicySocial sustainability

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