The protocol outlines a series of responsibilities aimed at local planning authorities and wind energy developers for promoting more effective public engagement within the development of wind energy projects. The protocol also outlines a series of reciprocal responsibilities that will need to be met by other stakeholders if the protocol is to work effectively. The protocol and supporting guidance build upon good practice established within the sector as well as other areas of planning.

Developing a more consistent approach to public engagement is becoming increasingly important, as many areas of the South West with little or no experience of wind energy, are being faced with increasing numbers of planning applications from wind energy developers with differing approaches to public engagement. As such there is the potential for confusion, misunderstanding and a loss of trust between stakeholders.