So this is what it takes: Tories and Ukip join forces to fight wind farm

Conservative and Ukip politicians have put aside the national standoff between their parties to unite against a controversial wind farm in north Devon.

Ukip's party chairman Steve Crowther stood alongside the Conservatives' prospective parliamentary candidate for Lib Dem-held North Devon, Peter Heaton-Jones, to take on proposals to build a major offshore wind project.

The Atlantic Array, located in the Bristol Channel, is set to become one of the world's largest windfarms with a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts.

Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey is expected to approve the planning application for its construction before the next general election, leaving the incumbent Nick Harvey with a fight on his hands to save 5,821 majority.

"When you look at the evidence on all side of the argument it's obvious the right decision is to oppose the plan," Heaton-Jones told the North Devon Journal.

"It's wrong on every level and now I'm working with Steve because he's headed up Slay the Array.

"There are no party politics involved. I am doing, and will always do, what needs to be done for the people of North Devon."

Crowther praised Heaton-Jones for his views, despite pointing out the Tory's "position is a little difficult because his party is all in favour of the plan".

The Westminster coalition unveiled a long-term offshore wind strategy earlier this month which it hopes will create 30,000 jobs in Britain and provide a £7 billion boost to the economy.

Offshore wind generated 46% more energy last year, but the coalition's approach is focused on a much larger expansion in the future.

"Step by step we are working with industry to maximise the potential of this important industry," Tory energy minister Michael Fallon said.

"We are determined to make sure that more of the contracts, jobs and economic benefit come to our shores and that we export more to overseas markets."

Tories outside government are less enthusiastic about the coalition's commitment to wind energy, however.

Environment secretary Owen Paterson has reportedly commissioned a consultancy to report on the impact onshore wind turbines could have on house prices.

The move, which is likely to prompt a coalition row, will be escalated further if Paterson follows up on his threat to publish the report's findings in full, the Telegraph reported.