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DECC Pulls RO Amendments 16th Oct

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DECC has withdrawn Energy Bill amendments defining Renewables Obligation grace period criteria for onshore wind farms after attracting fierce criticism in the House of Lords.

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth said DECC would reconsider moves to allow '"struggling" onshore wind farms meeting the RO grace period criteria an extra nine months to connect to the grid and other measures tabled last week.

Amendments will be presented to the Lords next week when the Bill enters report stage. The next sitting is on the afternoon of Monday 19 October.  

Labour’s shadow energy minister Baroness Worthington said the amendments as they stood were “not yet fit for purpose”.

Under the draft Bill’s ‘approved development condition’ amendment, for example, DECC would have disallowed projects granted local authority consent by the 18 June deadline yet did not receive a decision notice until after the cut-off.

In contrast, projects that had successfully appealed against refusal or non-determination by a planning committee would have been eligible for the RO grace period, as long as the appeal was made by 18 June. 

Peers said this went against the Conservatives’ pledge to give local people the “final say” on onshore wind projects.

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