Conservative group call for tightening up for policy against renewable energy developments

Cllr Bill Hunt

Cllr Bill Hunt - Credit: Archant

Councillors moved to tighten up their policy around renewable energy developments on Thursday night as they expressed fears that East Cambridgeshire was “under attack” from developers.

Cllr Bill Hunt put forward a motion to an emergency meeting of full council on Thursday night, calling for a harder line to be taken against large scale wind and solar farm developments.

The motion called for all large renewable energy projects to be put before a committee of councillors and set out a list of new criteria for future projects to be judged against.

Cllr Hunt said: “We seem to be almost under attack by applicants who really don’t seem to listen to any of the consultees who live in the district.”

But Liberal Democrat councillor Lorna Dupre said the new policy would make it easier to build a nuclear power station in East Cambridgeshire than a solar farm, while Cllr Ian Allen accused the Conservative group of hypocrisy.

Cllr Dupre said: “This motion sets a bar for renewable energy applications that is higher than for any other application. It would be easier to build a new supermarket or even a nuclear power station.”

Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Gareth Wilson, said: “Some of this motion just isn’t going to work and some of it is going to be impossible to enforce. It is going to make things worse for the very people we are trying to protect.”

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Conservative councillors overwhelmingly backed the motion, however, with council leader Cllr James Palmer calling it “common sense”.

He said: “Nothing gets the Liberals more excited than renewables but the truth is this is not a barrier it is a common sense policy to get the best deal for the people of East Cambridgeshire.”

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