Article

Wildlife blow to wind farm plans

Campaigners battling plans for a wind farm at Aston by Stone are celebrating after being given "extra ammunition" for their fight by conservationists. Land at Aston Hall Farm, adjacent to a site earmarked for three turbines by Severn Trent Water, has been classified as a Site of Biological Importance (SBI) following surveys carried out by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Campaigners battling plans for a wind farm at Aston by Stone are celebrating after being given "extra ammunition" for their fight by conservationists.

Land at Aston Hall Farm, adjacent to a site earmarked for three turbines by Severn Trent Water, has been classified as a Site of Biological Importance (SBI) following surveys carried out by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

The designation means the site is now officially recognised as one of the most important semi-natural habitats in the county - which could offer it protection from development plans.

Paul Shaw, chairman of Stop (Stone and Trent Valley Oppose Severn Trent Water), said: "We're absolutely delighted by this news. The SBI is only about 30 metres away from where Severn Trent wants to put one of the turbines.

"The designation basically gives us extra ammunition, because we would argue that the development of a wind farm would cause a lot of disturbance to the SBI and the wildlife there.

"The local authority has already turned down the application for a test mast, so I can't see that they would ever approve the actual turbines, and they'd be unlikely to allow anything that would adversely affect an... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Campaigners battling plans for a wind farm at Aston by Stone are celebrating after being given "extra ammunition" for their fight by conservationists.

Land at Aston Hall Farm, adjacent to a site earmarked for three turbines by Severn Trent Water, has been classified as a Site of Biological Importance (SBI) following surveys carried out by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

The designation means the site is now officially recognised as one of the most important semi-natural habitats in the county - which could offer it protection from development plans.

Paul Shaw, chairman of Stop (Stone and Trent Valley Oppose Severn Trent Water), said: "We're absolutely delighted by this news. The SBI is only about 30 metres away from where Severn Trent wants to put one of the turbines.

"The designation basically gives us extra ammunition, because we would argue that the development of a wind farm would cause a lot of disturbance to the SBI and the wildlife there.

"The local authority has already turned down the application for a test mast, so I can't see that they would ever approve the actual turbines, and they'd be unlikely to allow anything that would adversely affect an SBI." Staffordshire Wildlife Trust's conservation manager Sue Lawley said: " Aston Hall Farm has been designated an SBI because of the wet grassland habitat there.

"Although the designation offers no legal protection from development, it will be taken into consideration during the planning process." No-one from Severn Trent Water was available for comment.


Source: http://www.staffordshirenew...

DEC 29 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23879-wildlife-blow-to-wind-farm-plans
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