By Centre for Law and Environment , on 28 July 2015
Maria Lee from the Centre for Law and the Environment is part of a team of UCL academics recently awarded ESRC funding for a project exploring the space for public participation in decision-making on major wind energy infrastructure projects. Bringing together academics from planning and science and technology studies, as well as law, this project will examine the ways in which publics engage, and the ways in which evidence and knowledge are constructed and understood, in decision-making on major wind infrastructure projects.
A pilot research project had suggested that central government policy, at that time strongly in favour of major wind farm development, was constraining engagement with public concerns and aspirations; and also that there is a preference for ‘evidence’ and ‘knowledge’ to be constructed from highly technical ‘expert’, rather than lay, contributions. These observations raise interesting questions about how decision-making on major wind projects might take the concerns of diverse local publics into account in practice.