Starting point for the research underlying this paper was the question why there were low rates of planning approval for Community Energy (CE) onshore windfarms in England, despite an overall supportive policy position. In order to get an indication for possible reasons, results of an in-depth review of one community driven project are provided; the Valley Wind Cooperative (VWC) in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. Importantly, a disconnect between policy and practice is observed. Views and associated perceptions of experts of certain disciplines, including e.g. landscape architecture, ecology and tourism development represent specialised but not necessarily more widely shared values of local communities. They play a particular important role in explaining the disconnect. In the presence of an overall positive attitude towards windfarm proposals of local communities, this is problematic as it prevents socially accepted projects from gaining approval. Whilst social impact assessment (SIA) can facilitate debate and community support, trade-offs between different views need to be balanced and should not be dominated by perceptions of particular (disciplinary) groups.
Authors and Publishers
Fischer, Thomas B.
Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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