Change in public attitudes towards a Cornish wind farm: implications for planning

D. C. Eltham, Gareth Harrison, S. J. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While independently conducted polls suggest significant public support for wind energy, there are often objections to particular wind farm developments from the local population which can result in planning permission being declined and a restriction in the ability to meet renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. The aim of the study was to determine whether the pre-construction opinions held by communities local to a wind farm change after an extended period following commissioning. Residents of St. Newlyn East, Cornwall, England, were asked to recall their opinions of Carland Cross wind farm in 1991 and 2006. Statistically significant changes in opinion were observed for attitudes regarding the wind farm's visual attractiveness and the importance of the energy security it provides. This study continues by exploring potential reasons for this in the context of recent literature on public attitudes towards renewable energy. The findings of this study support the proposals in the 2007 UK White Paper, Planning for a Sustainable Future, for community engagement early in the project process and for the requirement of infrastructure to be debated at the national level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23–33
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • attitudes
  • renewable energy
  • planning


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