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Council sidestepped on scheme for wind farm

The firm behind a controversial planning application to build 11 wind turbines near Lutterworth have leapfrogged the planning process by asking that a Government inspector decides on the plan. Energy firm Nuon UK Ltd applied for planning permission to build the wind farm on land between Swinford and Walcote in April last year. However, Harborough District Council has not yet made a decision and had planned to hold a special meeting in February to make a decision.

The firm behind a controversial planning application to build 11 wind turbines near Lutterworth have leapfrogged the planning process by asking that a Government inspector decides on the plan.

Energy firm Nuon UK Ltd applied for planning permission to build the wind farm on land between Swinford and Walcote in April last year.

However, Harborough District Council has not yet made a decision and had planned to hold a special meeting in February to make a decision.

Councillors had attended additional training sessions on wind farms to prepare them for the meeting.

But now Nuon UK have appealed to the Government's Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that the council has failed to make a decision within 16 weeks.

This means that a decision will now be made after a public inquiry.

Rob Fellows, spokesman for Nuon UK, said: "This application, registered in April last year, should have been determined locally within 16 weeks.

"However, six months after a decision should have been made the council has still not set a date to consider the application.

"As Nuon's right to appeal expires at the end of January, the company considers that appealing now will ultimately... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The firm behind a controversial planning application to build 11 wind turbines near Lutterworth have leapfrogged the planning process by asking that a Government inspector decides on the plan.

Energy firm Nuon UK Ltd applied for planning permission to build the wind farm on land between Swinford and Walcote in April last year.

However, Harborough District Council has not yet made a decision and had planned to hold a special meeting in February to make a decision.

Councillors had attended additional training sessions on wind farms to prepare them for the meeting.

But now Nuon UK have appealed to the Government's Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that the council has failed to make a decision within 16 weeks.

This means that a decision will now be made after a public inquiry.

Rob Fellows, spokesman for Nuon UK, said: "This application, registered in April last year, should have been determined locally within 16 weeks.

"However, six months after a decision should have been made the council has still not set a date to consider the application.

"As Nuon's right to appeal expires at the end of January, the company considers that appealing now will ultimately result in an earlier determination of the application.

"A decision sooner rather than later should be in the best interests of the many supporters who have publicly backed the proposal as well as those who have spoken out against."

The appeal was lodged on Tuesday and as yet no date for the public inquiry has been set.

Keith Kilbane, chairman of Stop Swinford Wind Farm Action Group, said he felt Nuon were aware that the application was facing rejection by Harborough District Council.

He added: "It is unreasonable to refer to the failure by Harborough District Council to determine the application because the council has not received all the information.

"Nuon contributed to the delay by failing to provide information necessary for a fair public comment and calling for extra meetings on site."

A spokesman for Harborough District Council said: "Since receiving this application, we have needed to collate a great deal of information from organisations and local people to allow us to deal with it.

"This is a new area of development for the district and, and as a consequence, we have been training councillors to ensure they have the necessary knowledge to deal with this complex and sensitive application."


Source: http://www.lutterworthmail....

JAN 29 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18841-council-sidestepped-on-scheme-for-wind-farm
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