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Cornwall council prioritises community-owned renewable energy

Cornwall Council has become the first planning authority in England to prioritise community ownership in the planning process for renewable energy projects.

It is seeking views on its draft Renewable Energy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

It said it placed great importance on the need to tackle climate change while carefully managing the potential effects of renewable energy on the local environment and the lives of residents.

It also recognisesd the potential for residents and communities to be involved in and benefit from the transition to a low-carbon Cornwall.

The Renewable Energy SPD is being developed to provide the necessary guidance to help the Cornwall Local Plan – currently in draft form – achieve these goals.

The SPD contains guidance on a range of renewable energy technologies.

It explains what community ownership means and how it might be considered as part of a planning application, and sets out guidance on community engagement in renewable energy projects before planning applications are submitted.

It also contains detailed guidance on specific considerations, such as landscape and cumulative effects – in particular for wind turbines and solar farms.

This guidance builds on responses to a consultation undertaken at the end of 2013.

The consultation will be open until Friday, 27 March, and comments should be sent to renewableenergy@cornwall.gov.uk.

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