Call for focus on ‘bigger picture’ over energy plan
NORTHUMBERLAND County Council’s executive has given the green light to a new Local Development Plan which paves the way for the authority to pursue an ambitious new renewable energy policy.
The Lib Dem administration hope that by increasing the amount of Northumberland’s energy which is produced in the county, reliance on fossil fuels will be lessened, fuel bills will be reduced and the 26 per cent of households in fuel poverty will be given some respite.
Councillor Tom Brechany, executive member for planning, housing and regeneration, said: “Here in Northumberland we have huge potential for renewable energy generation and it would be foolish, especially with fuel poverty levels being so high, not to think about how to make the most of it.
“Our political opponents have been making a lot of noise about wind turbines recently, especially those who are actually trying to build their own, but I hope that argument does not obscure the bigger picture here, which is that energy bills keep rising, fossil fuel levels are dwindling, and we need to think now about how to protect Northumberland’s residents from the impact of this.”
Feedback from the plan’s consultation phase showed that residents felt an ‘energy hierarchy’ was needed in Northumberland. As a result, energy efficiency and reduction have now been placed at the top of the hierarchy.