§ Tony Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make it her policy to take into account the cumulative effect of large numbers of wind farms in areas of outstanding natural beauty when considering planning applications. 
§ Mr. Wilson
Planning policy guidance covering Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) already exists to protect such areas, and the Government has made it clear that AONBs should share the protection given to National Parks in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. PPG7 (for England) was accordingly amended in June 2000 so that for major projects in AONBs, consideration of planning applications should normally include an assessment of the need for the development, in terms of national considerations, and the impact of permitting it or refusing it on the local economy; the cost of and scope for developing elsewhere outside the area or meeting the need for it in some other way; and any detrimental effect on the environment and the landscape, and the extent to which that should be moderated.