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Govt promises wind farm community boost

The Government has promised communities an economic boost from local windfarm developments following a movement by MPs to cut subsidies.

Turbine manufacturer have become wary of investing in the UK since the incident, when 100 Conservative backbench MPs signed a letter requesting cuts.

Yorkshire is said to be particularly under threat as numerous wind farms are planned off the coast.

Greg Clark, the Minister for Cities, joined Prime Minister David Cameron at a meeting with the rebel MPs to reassure them that they would be working “to take communities with them”.

During a visit to Leeds yesterday, Mr Clark told the Yorkshire Post that Government reforms to allow local authorities to retain the business rates raised locally would allow communities to reap the rewards of windfarms.

“It was a very positive and constructive meeting and everyone is aware of the great potential for the UK in renewable energy,” he said.

“The worry is about whether local people have a enough of a say in the sites that are particularly sensitive.

“Our approach has been to have a localist approach – part of which is allowing communities to keep the benefits through policy to retain business rates.

“Up to now, communities where there are wind farms haven’t enjoyed any of the benefits.

“If you look at where renewable energy projects have taken off – such as Denmark which is a world leader – many started as community projects.

“We have recognised for a long time that the community needs to benefit, that you need to take the community with you.”