Draft PPS 18: Renewable Energy
Policy RE 1 Justification & Amplification: Community Involvement & Benefits
4.21. The Department considers that developers of renewable energy projects, in particular windfarms, should take an active role in engaging with the local community. This should include pre-application discussion and provision of background information on the renewable energy technology that is proposed.
4.22. Experience has shown that there are opportunities to achieve community benefits through large-scale renewable energy projects such as major windfarm development. Certain benefits can be justified as mitigation of development impacts through the planning process. In addition, developers may offer other community benefits not directly related to the planning process. Annex 3 provides further information and examples about the types of community benefit which have been provided through windfarm developments in Great Britain. The Department would encourage such proposals. Groups such as Action Renewables, the Energy Savings Trust or the Carbon Trust can support and advise on community involvement in developing renewable energy and benefitting from it. The Department would stress however that the offer of community benefits from a developer will not enable permission to be given to a proposal that otherwise would be unacceptable in planning terms.