Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Europe
Environmental campaigners last night condemned the sale of a proposed wind farm site to a French company planning to build a nuclear power plant on the plot. The site at West Hinkley, Somerset, has been bought by Electricite de France (EDF), one of the world's largest nuclear power generators. Your Energy, which tried for five years to win planning permission to build a wind farm there, confirmed it had sold the project rights to EDF. Jim Duffy, spokesman for the Stop Hinkley campaign, said objectors like British Energy had thwarted the wind farm plans by arguing nuclear power was a better use of the land.
A public inquiry into plans to build a 53-turbine wind farm close to a prehistoric site on the Isle of Lewis is to open in Stornoway. ...Mr Oppenheim had originally hoped to build 130 turbines on the Eishken Estate, but agreed to reduce this to 53 following objections from RSPB Scotland over the possible impact on birds of prey in the area such as golden eagles.
An ombudsman is demanding council bosses pay to take down overhead power lines they allowed to be erected in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Tynedale Council has been accused of "maladministration" by the Local Government Ombudsman after it failed to prevent the erection of 1,600 metres of overhead power line, with 12 electricity poles, close to Ninebanks, in the Tyne Valley. The council claims it could have done nothing to stop the cables being put up but is facing a further rap for refusing to remedy the "injustice".
Councillors have rejected an application for a 14-turbine wind farm for Highland Perthshire. They decided the scheme proposed for Calliacher, near Aberfeldy, would be too visually intrusive. The council's development quality manager had recommended the conditional approval of the plans, stating that any other decision would be "unjustified." Developers I and H Brown said they were "surprised" by the outcome and would take legal advice on a possible appeal.
A public inquiry into the plans to build a wind farm near Ellingham is likely to be held in September. Berwick Borough Council refused permission for the 10-turbine development at Wandylaw in October last year. Applicants RidgeWind appealed the decision which sparked a public inquiry. Planning officers had recommended the bid be approved but councillors said it would have a detrimental effect on the landscape.
Ramblers have condemned a decision by Peak District bosses to approve a wind turbine on National Trust land. The Derbyshire Ramblers' Association say the decision to allow the turbine on White Edge on the Park's eastern moors is "astonishing" and would seriously detract from the character of the landscape. Officers had recommended the application should be refused because it wouldn't fit in with the landscape - but councillors felt the demand for renewable energy was just too important. ..."It is even more astonishing that the Park's Planning Committee should vote for the application to be approved. We would describe it as a betrayal of all the National Park is intended to stand for."
A community completely and bitterly divided over proposals for wind turbines is how Marshland St James was described in Parliament. MP for North West Norfolk Henry Bellingham called into question the efficiency of small clusters of onshore turbines. He said: "Putting small clusters of eight, nine or 10 turbines onshore does untold environmental damage, for very little gain ...Government subsidies are effectively being used by developers to achieve what is known locally as the Tesco factor: if one has enough money and one keeps coming back, one will eventually overwhelm the planning inspectorate - and even persuade local people, who have to use their own money to appeal, that it is not worth the fight."
Developers behind a multi-million pound wind farm earmarked for rural Suffolk says he may reduce the turbines size in a bid to help allay residents' fears. Mid Suffolk Council has given the go ahead for a 70 metre high wind monitoring mast at Wyverstone, near Stowmarket, and the structure will be in place for up to a year. It was expected lead to an application for two 126 metre tall turbines in the village, at a cost of about £4 million. ..."Even when you reduce them to 100 metres they would still be five times the height of the next largest structure in the area and this in no way assuages are concerns, they would still be hugely out of scale with everything else around them."
The future of the world's largest offshore wind farm and a symbol of Britain's renewable energy future was thrown into doubt last night after it emerged that Shell was backing out of the project and indicated it would prefer to invest in more lucrative oil schemes. Shell said the decision to sell its 33% stake in the £2bn London Array off the coast of Kent was part of an "ongoing review of projects and investment choices" and was not part of any major rethink about renewables versus other oil and gas projects.
Villagers of Parkham went to the polls on Thursday and rejected proposals for two wind turbines in their parish. In a rare parish referendum 215 villagers cast their votes - a 34 per cent turnout. Of these, 174 or 81 per cent were against the proposal by local man Peter Willes, who wants the turbines to power his Parkham Farms cheese-making plant and the farms which supply his milk.
Worried local residents are demanding answers after it was reported a major backer of Perthshire's biggest wind farm plan has abandoned the project. Griffin wind farm, near Aberfeldy, was to be jointly funded by GreenPower and multinational power giant General Electric, but reports have stated the latter has dropped its 50% interest in the scheme. Although it was expected a new backer would have been found by now, it is understood a funding shortfall still exists in a time of increasing global financial uncertainty, throwing the massive project into doubt.
West Norfolk planners yesterday turned down plans for a wind turbine at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. ...Cllr Bill Daws felt there had been insufficient liaison with the Ministry of Defence and the Air Ambulance before the application was submitted. He also felt the site was too close to the busy Al49. He added: "You have got a 240-feet-high thing sticking out of the ground with a helicopter buzzing around. I don't think that's safe." Fears about the effect of noise on hospital staff and patients were raised by Cllr Roy Groom, who was also concerned about what would happen if the hospital relocated and homes were built on the site.
Plans for an 80m wind turbine in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn were thrown out by councillors this morning. Health chiefs devised the scheme with renewable energy company Ecotricity as the hospital attempts to become the first public sector organisation in the country to generate its own green energy. But an objection was received from the MoD which claimed the turbine would cause "unacceptable interference" to the air traffic control radar at nearby RAF Marham.
The five-year saga of a controversial Lincolnshire wind farm plan has taken a new twist after a Government inspector turned it down - again. But energy firm Your Energy has refused to admit defeat, even though residents opposed to the plan have declared victory. The company wants to build a 10-turbine site at Laughton, near Gainsborough ...The plan was originally turned down by West Lindsey District Council in 2004.
It is a question of nature versus need, and livelihood versus landscape. The Scottish Government's rejection this week of plans for Europe's largest wind farm on Barvas Moor, on Lewis, has shown there are many shades of green. Only a few years ago, the merits of the Lewis Wind Power (LWP) scheme were trumpeted high and wide. ...Since then, however, environmentalism has come in for increasing questioning and paradoxes have been revealed. The rejection of LWP - to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area - may be a taste of things to come. ..."Given the 'green on green' nature of the debate, opinion will doubtless remain divided over whether such a development would be a good, bad or indifferent development in Scotland."
An appeal brought by an energy company wanting to install eight wind turbines in Lincolnshire has been dismissed. Your Energy appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after its application was deferred by West Lindsey District Council for a third time in 2007. But an independent inspector ruled the turbines would cause "significant damage" to the landscape at Laughton. Your Energy's managing director Richard Mardon said the company was undertaking a legal review of the report.
A five year 'battle' over plans for eight wind turbines has ended in victory for residents. It was brought to a conclusion when a Government planning inspector vetoed the plans for Laughton. Ipswich-based Your Energy saw its plans turned down for the second time, leaving George Love of Laughton Parish Council delighted. "It is a great relief because it has hung over us like a cloud," said the former council chairman. ...Your Energy, however, is still refusing to give up the fight. "We are stunned by this decision and are undertaking a legal review of its content," said managing director Richard Mardon.
Plans for Britain's biggest land-based wind farm were turned down by the Scottish government yesterday, in a landmark decision with wide implications for the future development of renewable energy in the UK. The 181-turbine development on the Hebridean island of Lewis was vetoed by Scottish ministers because it was at odds with tough protection for wildlife sites afforded by European law. The site was designated as the Lewis Peatlands special protection area under the EU's birds directive to protect its rare breeding birds including the golden eagle, merlin, red-throated diver, black-throated diver, golden plover, dunlin and greenshank. ..."This is an extremely commendable decision ... that is absolutely right for Scotland," said Stuart Housden, director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland. "It sends a very strong message that in meeting our ambitious and welcome renewable targets, we do not have to sacrifice our most important environmental resources."
The Audit Commission's inspection of Berwick Borough Council says that, overall, the council is improving after being judged "weak" four years ago, but that improvements in its development control service are insufficient to meet Government targets. The report follows criticism of the council's method of paying consultants to prepare reports on plans, notably three wind farm proposals which had been with the authority for up to three and a half years. ..."The service is struggling to deal with a legacy of more complex major applications and none of these are currently being processed within government target times. Applicant satisfaction with the service is low."
A public inquiry in southern Scotland looks set to be delayed to allow the impact of wind turbines on radar systems to be assessed. A Scottish Government reporter has asked for the Blackcraig wind farm hearing to be suspended until October. The inquiry is considering Scottish and Southern Energy's plans to build 23 turbines in the Galloway hills. The delay would allow National Air Traffic Services to give evidence of the effect on radar technology. ...The potential effect of wind turbines on radar systems has been raised at a number of developments recently. The Ministry of Defence has objected to some proposals on those grounds, but its claims have been contested by power companies.