DECC publishes guidance on community benefits and engagement for onshore wind farms article banner image

This week has seen the Department of Climate and Energy Change publish its community benefits and engagement guidance for onshore wind.

The government committed to establishing best practice guidance following the Wind Call for Evidence in 2013 consultation, which highlighted a clear need for improved engagement between developers, communities and local authorities.

The documents prepared by RegenSW for the DECC, alongside key players in the wind industry, gives a summary on what wind farm developers, communities and local authorities can expect to encounter during the planning process. They include information about different types of community benefit, areas of fund spend and fund administration alongside examples of good practice from around the UK.

The guidance identifies six core principles of best practice to ensure that community benefit provision is “fair, constructive, unconditional, inclusive, timely and transparent”, and a detailed explanation as to how they can be applied at each stage of the development process.

Sonya Bedford, head of renewables comments “Our renewable energy team are in a unique position, working for both developers and with communities .  Our developers often come to us to benefit from this experience as we are able to guide them through the development process to ensure a good outcome for all parties.”

DECC publishes guidance on community benefits and engagement for onshore wind farms This week has seen the Department of Climate and Energy Change publish its community benefits and engagement guidance for onshore wind. The government committed to establishing best practice guidance following the Wind Call for Evidence in 2013 consultation, which highlighted a clear need for improved engagement between developers, communities and local authorities. The documents prepared by RegenSW for the DECC, alongside key players in the wind industry, gives a summary on what wind farm developers, communities and local authorities can expect to encounter during the planning process. They include information about different types of community benefit, areas of fund spend and fund administration alongside examples of good practice from around the UK. The guidance identifies six core principles of best practice to ensure that community benefit provision is “fair, constructive, unconditional, inclusive, timely and transparent”, and a detailed explanation as to how they can be applied at each stage of the development process. To find out more the guides are available online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-benefits-and-engagement-guidance-for-onshore-wind.

Sonya Bedford is a partner and head of renewable energy at Stephens Scown LLP in Exeter. She is a non-executive director of Regen SW and a director of Exeter Community Energy. To contact Sonya please call 01392 210700 or email renewables@stephens-scown.co.uk