Energy Bill [HL] - Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 12th April 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Quin Baroness Quin Labour 6:45 pm, 12th April 2016

My Lords, I would like just very briefly to seek clarification on something that has arisen from our debates. I do not know whether I am alone in not being sure of the implications of what we are discussing here. However, I would like to know from the Minister, or indeed from those who tabled the amendments, how many schemes are affected, where they are, and whether any of the schemes that might be affected by the amendments are ones where the local communities have very much opposed the developments that are taking place.

I feel in something of quandary in approaching these amendments, because I do not want schemes which have a lot of public support, referred to by my noble friends Lord Foulkes of Cumnock and Lord Hain, to be prevented from going ahead, but at the same time I hope that what is proposed would not allow schemes to go ahead in my own county of Northumberland, where a large number of schemes have been introduced against the wishes of local people and local communities. I would not like them to go ahead because of changes that we are considering introducing here via amendments.

The Minister knows that I have a lot of sympathy with the Government’s approach, in that a lot of schemes have been inflicted on local communities in sensitive landscapes and in areas where we are trying to develop tourism. It has been a real issue in Northumberland, which has twice as much onshore wind capacity as any other English county. I would simply like to hear from the Minister and others whether there are implications for Northumberland in what is proposed today.