POTTON Island and Foulness Island are "ideal locations" for onshore wind farms that could cut energy bills and tackle climate change.

Climate campaigners and politicians believe the islands are perfect for wind farms to generate clean energy.

Rochford and Southend East MP Sir James Duddridge called for the government to consider the islands for green energy projects as it moves to axe legislation which has created an “effective ban” on new onshore farms.

“The islands are ideal locations for these kinds of wind farms. They are sparsely populated, with large flat and open spaces of land that could produce a lot of clean energy,” Jon Fuller, a spokesman for South East Essex Friends of the Earth, said.

“However, we will need to make sure the safety of birds that habit and migrate to and from the islands is taken into consideration.”

He added: “Onshore wind energy is about nine-times cheaper than gas, so it’s absolutely essential that to cut peoples’ bills and to cut carbon dioxide emissions we need to get on an build onshore wind farms as quickly as we possibly can.

“The government says there is no ban, but the regulations are so tight it’s almost impossible to build onshore wind farms in England.”

Foulness Island, with a population below 200, is run by the Ministry of Defence with access by non-residents subject to stringent restrictions.

In 1998 National Wind Power put forward plans to turn 1,000 acres of Foulness Island into a wind farm, generating electricity to power 60,000 homes around Southend, however the plans never came to fruition.

At the time fears were raised the tens of thousands of waders and wildfowl that lived on the island could be endangered by the wind turbines.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this week, Sir Duddridge said: “Potton island and Foulness island in the Rochford district would very much like to see onshore wind farms.”

“What incentives can the Government bring forward when onshore wind comes back online?”

The Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart responded: “The Government want communities to participate in and benefit from onshore wind proposals for their areas, and we will shortly issue a consultation.”

In December, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to lift an effective ban on which has seen just two onshore wind farms built across the country in the last year.

The effective ban was put in place in 2015 by tightening planning restrictions in the National Planning Policy Framework.